Detection of Pentosidine Cross-Links in Cell-Secreted Decellularized Matrices Using Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Debika Mitra, Hussain Fatakdawala, Michael Nguyen-Truong, Amy Creecy, Jeffry Nyman, Laura Marcu, J. Kent Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Hyperglycemia-mediated, nonenzymatic collagen cross-links such as pentosidine (PENT) can have deleterious effects on cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM). Present techniques to quantify PENT are limited, motivating the need for improved methods to study the accumulation and contribution of PENT toward diabetic clinical challenges such as impaired bone healing. Current methods for studying PENT are destructive, laborious, and frequently employ oversimplified collagen films that lack the complexity of the native ECM. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the capacity of time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy (TRFS) to detect PENT in cell-secreted ECMs possessing enhanced compositional complexity. To demonstrate an application of this method, we assessed the response of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to cross-linked substrates to explore the role of detected PENT on osteogenic differentiation. We exposed MSC-secreted decellularized matrices (DMs) to 0.66 M ribose for 2 weeks and used TRFS to detect the accumulation of PENT. Ribose treatment resulted in a 30 nm blue shift in peak fluorescence emission and a significant decrease in average lifetime compared to that of control DMs (4.4 ± 0.3 ns vs 3.5 ± 0.09 ns). Evaluation of samples with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) confirmed that changes in observed fluorescence were due to PENT accumulation. A strong correlation was found between TRFS parameters and the HPLC measurement of PENT, validating the use of TRFS as an alternative method of PENT detection. Osteoblastic gene expression was significantly reduced in MSCs seeded on ribose DMs at days 7 and 14. However, no significant differences in calcium deposition were detected between control and ribose DMs. These data demonstrate the efficacy of nondestructive fluorescence spectroscopy to examine the formation of nonenzymatic collagen cross-links within biomimetic culture platforms and showcase one example where an improved biomimetic substrate can be used to probe cell-ECM interactions in the presence of collagen cross-links.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1944-1954
Number of pages11
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 11 2017


  • collagen cross-links
  • decellularized matrices
  • fluorescence lifetime
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • optical imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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