Table of Contents
Biotechnology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 854068, 15 pages
Research Article

Human Coronary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Responses to Bioactive Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Interfaces

1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute of Molecular Biophysics, The Florida State University, 3501 Chemical Sciences Laboratory Building, 102 Varsity Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4390, USA
2Department of Biological Science, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA

Received 10 August 2010; Accepted 5 October 2010

Academic Editor: Goetz Laible

Copyright © 2011 Robert G. Newcomer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Under normal physiological conditions, mature human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (hCASMCs) exhibit a “contractile” phenotype marked by low rates of proliferation and protein synthesis, but these cells possess the remarkable ability to dedifferentiate into a “synthetic” phenotype when stimulated by conditions of pathologic stress. A variety of polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEMU) films are shown here to exhibit bioactive properties that induce distinct responses from cultured hCASMCs. Surfaces terminated with Nafion or poly(styrenesulfonic acid) (PSS) induce changes in the expression and organization of intracellular proteins, while a hydrophilic, zwitterionic copolymer of acrylic acid and 3-[2-(acrylamido)-ethyl dimethylammonio] propane sulfonate (PAA-co-PAEDAPS) is resistant to cell attachment and suppresses the formation of key cytoskeletal components. Differential expression of heat shock protein 90 and actin is observed, in terms of both their magnitude and cellular localization, and distinct cytoplasmic patterns of vimentin are seen. The ionophore A23187 induces contraction in confluent hCASMC cultures on Nafion-terminated surfaces. These results demonstrate that PEMU coatings exert direct effects on the cytoskeletal organization of attaching hCASMCs, impeding growth in some cases, inducing changes consistent with phenotypic modulation in others, and suggesting potential utility for PEMU surfaces as a coating for coronary artery stents and other implantable medical devices.