Patterning of cell adhesion molecules onto surfaces has become an
important technique in the construction of cellular assemblies for biosensors, tissue
engineering applications, and studies for cell-cell and cell-substrate interaction. The
ability to study cell behavior at a biomaterial surface requires control of material
surface chemistry. In this project the GRGDS (Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser) and GRGES
(Gly-Arg-Gly-Glu-Ser) were immobilized by conjugation to surface bound azides to
afford cell-receptive modified surfaces. The peptides were synthesized using Fmocsolid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) and purified and characterized by high
performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The modified surfaces were
characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and the effect of these
surfaces on fibroblast adhesion and spreading were examined at several time points.
Our results demonstrate a higher degree of cell attachment and spreading on RGD
modified surfaces compared to unmodified and control surfaces. Photoprotection of
the carboxyl side-chain of Asp using an ortho-nitrobenzyl protecting group, this will
then be extended to form the desired RGD sequence using SPPS, before being
attached to the surface via a linker to develop a photo-addressable surface that will
facilitate surface patterning.
Keywords: RGD peptides, cell adhesion, photoprotecting groups, tissue engineering

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