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Interpenetrating network gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) and pectin-g-PCL hydrogels with tunable properties for tissue engineering

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Abstract

The design of new hydrogel-based biomaterials with tunable physical and biological properties is essential for the advancement of applications related to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For instance, interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) and semi-IPN hydrogels have been widely explored to engineer functional tissues due to their characteristic microstructural and mechanical properties. Here, we engineered IPN and semi-IPN hydrogels comprised of a tough pectin grafted polycaprolactone (pectin-g-PCL) component to provide mechanical stability, and a highly cytocompatible gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) component to support cellular growth and proliferation. IPN hydrogels were formed by calcium ion (Ca2+)-crosslinking of pectin-g-PCL chains, followed by photocrosslinking of the GelMA precursor. Conversely, semi-IPN networks were formed by photocrosslinking of the pectin-g-PCL and GelMA mixture, in the absence of Ca2+ crosslinking. IPN and semi-IPN hydrogels synthesized with varying ratios of pectin-g-PCL to GelMA, with and without Ca2+-crosslinking, exhibited a broad range of mechanical properties. For semi-IPN hydrogels, the aggregation of microcrystalline cores led to formation of hydrogels with compressive moduli ranging from 3.1 to 10.4 kPa. For IPN hydrogels, the mechanistic optimization of pectin-g-PCL, GelMA, and Ca2+ concentrations resulted in hydrogels with comparatively higher compressive modulus, in the range of 39 kPa–5029 kPa. Our results also showed that IPN hydrogels were cytocompatible in vitro and could support the growth of three-dimensionally (3D) encapsulated MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts in vitro. The simplicity, technical feasibility, low cost, tunable mechanical properties, and cytocompatibility of the engineered semi-IPN and IPN hydrogels highlight their potential for different tissue engineering and biomedical applications.

Graphical abstract: Interpenetrating network gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) and pectin-g-PCL hydrogels with tunable properties for tissue engineering

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Apr 2018, accepted on 04 Sep 2018 and first published on 07 Sep 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8BM00474A
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2018, Advance Article
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    Interpenetrating network gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) and pectin-g-PCL hydrogels with tunable properties for tissue engineering

    M. M. Fares, E. Shirzaei Sani, R. Portillo Lara, R. B. Oliveira, A. Khademhosseini and N. Annabi, Biomater. Sci., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8BM00474A

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