A Modular Platform for Cytocompatible Hydrogels with Tailored Mechanical Properties Based on Monolithic Matrices and Particulate Building Blocks.
SourceBiomacromolecules, 24, 6, (2023), pp. 2755-2765
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Radboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine Dentistry
We establish a versatile hydrogel platform based on modular building blocks that allows the design of hydrogels with tailored physical architecture and mechanical properties. We demonstrate its versatility by assembling (i) a fully monolithic gelatin methacryloyl (Gel-MA) hydrogel, (ii) a hybrid hydrogel composed of 1:1 Gel-MA and gelatin nanoparticles, and (iii) a fully particulate hydrogel based on methacryloyl-modified gelatin nanoparticles. The hydrogels were formulated to exhibit the same solid content and comparable storage modulus but different stiffness and viscoelastic stress relaxation. The incorporation of particles resulted in softer hydrogels with enhanced stress relaxation. Murine osteoblastic cells cultured in two-dimensional (2D) on hydrogels showed proliferation and metabolic activity comparable to established collagen hydrogels. Furthermore, the osteoblastic cells showed a trend of increased cell numbers, cell expansion, and more defined protrusions on stiffer hydrogels. Hence, modular assembly allows the design of hydrogels with tailored mechanical properties and the potential to alter cell behavior.
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