Amphiphilic graft copolymer mediated cell surface engineering of endothelial cells for vascular network formation
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Amphiphilic graft copolymers, with varying grafting density forms structurally distinct micelles in aqueous solution with nanoscale dimension. Owing to varying grafting density due to difference in PEG chain length, we hypothesized that this structural difference in micellar formation might influence the way the lipid polyurethanes (PUs) interact with Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) where the lower graft density polyurethanes bridge across the membranes while the higher graft density forms discrete micelles. Surface engineering of HUVECs by the lipid PUs is concentration dependent and facilitates the formation of structurally stable networks. In this study, we illustrate the mechanism of lipid PU-HUVECs interaction where the PEG10000-HDI-lipid (10K) polymer probably forms discrete micelles and engineer the membrane locally whereas the PEG35000-HDI-lipid (35K) polymer forms bridge like structures thus aiding in enhanced 'cell binding' making the interaction mechanically stable and facilitating tubular network formation.