Modification of cell culture substrates and scaffolds with bioactive molecules is frequently used to enhance and/or regulate cellular functions and metabolism during culture. These biomaterials have contributed to an advanced understanding of cell biology and materials designs in biomedical applications. In contrast, we have proposed a new technology -- cell sheet engineering -- for realization of tissue/organ reconstruction with structural and functional regeneration. Using cell sheet engineering, confluently cultured cells are harvested as viable, contiguous cell monolayers applied for fabrication of three-dimensional biomimetic tissues or cell sheet-utilized therapies. We have recently introduced bio-functionalization of thermoresponsive surfaces with cell adhesive peptides, e.g., RGDS, and/or cell growth factors, e.g., insulin (INS), for rapid fabrication of cell sheets. Surface-immobilized RGDS peptides promote initial cell adhesion, while INS immobilization accelerates proliferation of adherent cells. More pronounced and synergistic influences on cell growth are observed on RGDS-INS co-immobilized thermoresponsive surfaces even under the serum-free culture conditions. Here, we briefly review the current findings of our bio-functionalized thermoresponsive surfaces for rapid, effective cell sheet fabrication and non-invasive harvest as tissue monolayers for further applications in regenerative medicine.
2006 by The Japanese Society of Inflammation and Regeneration