Polymers have been used extensively taking forms as scaffolds, patterned surface and nanoparticle for regenerative medicine applications. Angiogenesis is an essential process for successful tissue regeneration, and endothelial cell–cell interaction plays a pivotal role in regulating their tight junction formation, a hallmark of angiogenesis. Though continuous progress has been made, strategies to promote angiogenesis still rely on small molecule delivery or nuanced scaffold fabrication. As such, the recent paradigm shift from top-down to bottom-up approaches in tissue engineering necessitates development of polymer-based modular engineering tools to control angiogenesis. Here, we developed cationic nanocylinders (NCs) as inducers of cell–cell interaction and investigated their effect on angiogenic activities of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro
. Electrospun poly (l
-lactic acid) (PLLA) fibers were aminolyzed to generate positively charged NCs. The aninolyzation time was changed to produce two different aspect ratios of NCs. When HUVECs were treated with NCs, the electrostatic interaction of cationic NCs with negatively charged plasma membranes promoted migration, permeability and tubulogenesis of HUVECs compared to no treatment. This effect was more profound when the higher aspect ratio NC was used. The results indicate these NCs can be used as a new tool for the bottom-up approach to promote angiogenesis.
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