Biomaterials are extensively used to restore damaged tissues, in the forms of implants (e.g. tissue engineered scaffolds) or biomedical devices (e.g. pacemakers). Once in contact with the physiological environment, nanostructured biomaterials undergo modifications as a result of endogenous proteins binding to their surface. The formation of this macromolecular coating complex, known as 'protein corona', onto the surface of nanoparticles and its effect on cell-particle interactions are currently under intense investigation. In striking contrast, protein corona constructs within nanostructured porous tissue engineering scaffolds remain poorly characterized. As organismal systems are highly dynamic, it is conceivable that the formation of distinct protein corona on implanted scaffolds might itself modulate cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Here, we report that corona complexes formed onto the fibrils of engineered collagen scaffolds display specific, distinct, and reproducible compositions that are a signature of the tissue microenvironment as well as being indicative of the subject's health condition. Protein corona formed on collagen matrices modulated cellular secretome in a context-specific manner ex-vivo, demonstrating their role in regulating scaffold-cellular interactions. Together, these findings underscore the importance of custom-designing personalized nanostructured biomaterials, according to the biological milieu and disease state. We propose the use of protein corona as in situ biosensor of temporal and local biomarkers.
View details for PubMedID 27516731