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(704f) A Novel Scaffold for the Construction of Polyelectrolyte Thin Films for Non-Viral Gene Delivery

Samuel, R. E., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hammond, P. T., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The avian egg shell membrane (ESM) is an abundant and environmentally friendly complex of two semi-permeable membranes, which are composed of highly cross-linked extra-cellular proteins. The ESM has been shown to be biocompatible and a potential biomaterial in tissue engineering applications. We have utilized ESM as scaffold for the delivery of non-viral vectors deposited within polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) thin films constructed by the alternating deposition of hydrolytically degradable polycations (poly â-amino ester) and polyanions (plasmid DNA vectors). These ESM-PEM gene delivery devices progressively released the plasmid DNA sequentially deposited on the 3-D fibrous scaffold. The PEM-modified surfaces of the ESM were able to support the adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast cells. The engrafted MC3T3-E1 cells were distributed throughout the full-thickness of the ESM and expressed the genes encoded in the plasmid DNA vectors. The increased surface-to-volume ration of the ESM and its relative ease of handling may make ESM a highly versatile 3-D scaffold for tissue engineering applications, such as bone fracture healing.