Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 20, 2010
Previous Article Next Article

Hierarchically structured, hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel matrices via the covalent integration of microgels into macroscopic networks

Author affiliations

Abstract

We aimed to develop biomimetic hydrogel matrices that not only exhibit structural hierarchy and mechanical integrity, but also present biological cues in a controlled fashion. To this end, photocrosslinkable, hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel particles (HGPs) were synthesized via an inverse emulsion crosslinking process followed by chemical modification with glycidyl methacrylate (GMA). HA modified with GMA (HAGMA) was employed as the soluble macromer. Macroscopic hydrogels containing covalently integrated hydrogel particles (HA-c-HGP) were prepared by radical polymerization of HAGMA in the presence of crosslinkable HGPs. The covalent linkages between the hydrogel particles and the secondary HA matrix resulted in the formation of a diffuse, fibrilar interface around the particles. Compared to the traditional bulk gels synthesized by photocrosslinking of HAGMA, these hydrogels exhibited a reduced sol fraction and a lower equilibrium swelling ratio. When tested under uniaxial compression, the HA-c-HGP gels were more pliable than the HA-p-HGP gels and fractured at higher strain than the HAGMA gels. Primary bovine chondrocytes were photoencapsulated in the HA matrices with minimal cell damage. The 3D microenvironment created by HAGMA and HA HGPs not only maintained the chondrocyte phenotype but also fostered the production of cartilage specific extracellular matrix. To further improve the biological activities of the HA-c-HGP gels, bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) was loaded into the immobilized HGPs. BMP-2 was released from the HA-c-HGP gels in a controlled manner with reduced initial burst over prolonged periods of time. The HA-c-HGP gels are promising candidates for use as bioactive matrices for cartilage tissue engineering.

Graphical abstract: Hierarchically structured, hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel matrices via the covalent integration of microgels into macroscopic networks

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 14 Mar 2010, accepted on 19 May 2010 and first published on 15 Jun 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00101E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 5045-5055
  •   Request permissions

    Hierarchically structured, hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel matrices via the covalent integration of microgels into macroscopic networks

    A. K. Jha, M. S. Malik, M. C. Farach-Carson, R. L. Duncan and X. Jia, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 5045
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00101E

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements