Methacrylated gellan gum and hyaluronic acid hydrogel blends for image-guided neurointerventions†
Cell-based therapies delivered via intrathecal injection are considered as one of the most promising solutions for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Herein, injectable manganese-based biocompatible hydrogel blends were developed, that can allow image-guided cell delivery. The hydrogels can also provide physical support for cells during injection, and at the intrathecal space after transplantation, while assuring cell survival. In this regard, different formulations of methacrylated gellan gum/hyaluronic acid hydrogel blends (GG-MA/HA) were considered as a vehicle for cell delivery. The hydrogels blends were supplemented with paramagnetic Mn2+ to allow a real-time monitorization of hydrogel deposition via T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The developed hydrogels were easily extruded and formed a stable fiber upon injection into the cerebrospinal fluid. Hydrogels prepared with a 75 : 25 GG-MA to HA ratio supplemented with MnCl2 at 0.1 mM showed controlled hydrogel degradation, suitable permeability, and a distinct MRI signal in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, human-derived adipose stem cells encapsulated in 75 : 25 GG-MA/HA hydrogels remained viable for up to 14 days of culture in vitro. Therefore, the engineered hydrogels can be an excellent tool for injectable image-guided cell delivery approaches.