Robust alginate/hyaluronic acid thiol–yne click-hydrogel scaffolds with superior mechanical performance and stability for load-bearing soft tissue engineering†
Hydrogels based on hyaluronic acid (HA) exhibit great potential as tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds as a consequence of their unique biological features. Herein, we examine how the advantages of two natural polymers (i.e. HA and alginate) are combined with the efficiency and rapid nature of the thiol–yne click chemistry reaction to obtain biocompatible matrices with tailored properties. Our injectable click-hydrogels revealed excellent mechanical performance, long-term stability, high cytocompatibility and adequate stiffness for the targeted application. This simple approach yielded HA hydrogels with characteristics that make them suitable for applications as 3D scaffolds to support and promote soft tissue regeneration.