Biomacromolecules: Biomimetic hydrogels for tissue engineering

The journal Biomacromolecules has published new research from the IMC dealing with injectable hydrogels based on biodegradable poly(amino acids). The use of injectable biomimetic hydrogel in combination with stem cell therapy represents a promising strategy for the development of minimally invasive treatment of bone and cartilage degenerative diseases.

Scientists from the IMC prepared fully synthetic injectable hydrogels that mimic selected features of the extracellular matrix of living tissue. "The synthesized poly(amino acid) precursors, with the integrin‐binding RGD peptide, were cross-linked by the enzymatic reaction to hydrogels with tunable  physicochemical properties. The mechanical properties and gelation time were optimized for the encapsulation (transplantation) of rat mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs)," describes the main author of the scientific article Dr. Jana Dvořáková (Department of Biomaterials and Bioanalogous Systems). She adds: “Encapsulated rMSCs showed long-term survival in the hydrogel matrix.  Successful differentiation of rMSCs into the desired tissue depends on the proper initiation of crucial cellular processes such as cell adhesion, proliferation, and cell-cell interactions. Those processes were shown to be affected by both the concentration of the RGD peptide and the hydrogel stiffness, along with subsequent hydrogel degradation.  

The Original Article

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