The goal of this study was to develop a polymeric carrier for delivery of anti-tumor drugs and sustained release of these agents in order to optimize anti-tumor activity while minimizing systemic effects. We used oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) hydrogels modified with small negatively charged molecules, sodium methacrylate (SMA), for delivery of doxorubicin (DOX). SMA at different concentrations was incorporated into the OPF hydrogel with a photo-crosslinking method. The resulting hydrogels exhibited sensitivity to the pH and ionic strength of the surrounding environment. Our results revealed that DOX was bound to the negatively charged hydrogel through electrostatic interaction and was released in a timely fashion with an ion exchange mechanism. Release kinetics of DOX was directly correlated to the concentration of SMA in the hydrogel formulations. Anti-tumor activity of the released DOX was assessed using a human osteosarcoma cell line. Our data revealed that DOX released from the modified, charged hydrogels remained biologically active and had the capability to kill cancer cells. In contrast, control groups of unmodified OPF hydrogels with or without DOX did not exhibit any cytotoxicity. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using SMA-modified OPF hydrogels as a potential carrier for chemotherapeutic drugs for cancer treatments.
The transected rat thoracic (T9/10) spinal cord model is a platform for quantitatively compa0ring biodegradable polymer scaffolds. Schwann cell-loaded scaffolds constructed from poly (lactic co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF), oligo(polyethylene glycol) fumarate (OPF) hydrogel or positively charged OPF (OPF+) hydrogel were implanted into the model. We demonstrated that the mechanical properties (3-point bending and stiffness) of OPF and OPF+ hydrogels closely resembled rat spinal cord. After one month, tissues were harvested and analyzed by morphometry of neurofilament-stained sections at rostral, midlevel, and caudal scaffold. All polymers supported axonal growth. Significantly higher numbers of axons were found in PCLF (P < 0.01) and OPF+ (P < 0.05) groups, compared to that of the PLGA group. OPF+ polymers showed more centrally distributed axonal regeneration within the channels while other polymers (PLGA, PCLF and OPF) tended to show more evenly dispersed axons within the channels. The centralized distribution was associated with significantly more axons regenerating (P < 0.05). Volume of scar and cyst rostral and caudal to the implanted scaffold was measured and compared. There were significantly smaller cyst volumes in PLGA compared to PCLF groups. The model provides a quantitative basis for assessing individual and combined tissue engineering strategies.
OPF; PLGA; PCLF; axon regeneration; spinal cord injury; Schwann cell
This protocol describes the synthesis of oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) (1–35 kDa)(a polymer useful for tissue engineering applications) by a one-pot reaction of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and fumaryl chloride. The procedure involves three parts: dichloromethane and PEG are first dried; the reaction step follows in which fumaryl chloride and triethylamine are added dropwise to a solution of PEG in dichloromethane; and finally the product solution is filtered to remove byproduct salt, and the OPF product is twice crystallized, washed, and dried under vacuum. The reaction is affected by PEG molecular weight and reactant molar ratio. The OPF product is cross-linked by radical polymerization by either a thermally induced or UV-induced radical initiator, and the physical properties of the OPF oligomer and resulting cross-linked hydrogel are easily tailored by varying PEG molecular weight. OPF hydrogels are injectable, polymerize in situ, and undergo biodegradation by hydrolysis of ester bonds. The expected time required to complete this protocol is 6 d.
oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate); OPF; polymer; tissue engineering; polymer synthesis; radical polymerization; hydrogel; PEG
This work investigated the delivery of marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), with or without the growth factor transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), from biodegradable hydrogel composites on the repair of osteochondral defects in a rabbit model. Three formulations of oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) hydrogel composites containing gelatin microparticles (GMPs) and MSCs were implanted in osteochondral defects, including (1) OPF/GMP hydrogel composites; (2) OPF/GMP hydrogel composites encapsulating MSCs; and (3) OPF hydrogel composites containing TGF-β1 loaded GMPs and MSCs. At 12 weeks, the quality of new tissue formed in chondral and subchondral regions of defects was evaluated based on subjective and quantitative histological analysis. OPF hydrogel composites were partially degraded and the defects were filled with newly formed tissue at 12 weeks with no sign of persistent inflammation. With the implantation of scaffolds alone, newly formed chondral tissue had an appearance of hyaline cartilage with zonal organization and intense staining for glycosaminoglycans, while in the subchondral region hypertrophic cartilage with some extent of bone formation was often observed. The addition of MSCs, especially with TGF-β1 loaded GMPs, facilitated subchondral bone formation, as evidenced by more trabecular bone appearance. However, the delivery of MSCs with or without TGF-β1 at the dosage investigated did not improve cartilage morphology. While OPF-based hydrogel composites supported osteochondral tissue generation, further investigations are necessary to elucidate the effects of MSC seeding density and differentiation stage on new tissue formation and regeneration.
cartilage tissue engineering; mesenchymal stem cells; hydrogel composites; osteochondral defects
Autologous nerve grafts are currently the best option for the treatment of segmental peripheral nerve defects. However, autografts have several drawbacks including size mismatch and loss of sensation in the donor nerve’s sensory distribution. In this work, we have investigated the development of a synthetic hydrogel that contains positive charge for use as a substrate for nerve cell attachment and neurite outgrowth in culture. We have demonstrated that modification of oligo-(polyethylene glycol) fumarate (OPF) with a positively charged monomer improves primary sensory rat neuron attachment and differentiation in a dose-dependent manner. Positively charged hydrogels also supported attachment of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants that contain sensory neurons, Schwann cells and neuronal support cells. Furthermore, charged hydrogels were analyzed for the appearance of myelinated structures in a co-culture containing DRG neurons and Schwann cells. DRGs and Schwann cells remained viable on charged hydrogels for a time period of three weeks and neurites extended from the DRGs. Sudan black staining revealed that neurites emerging from DRGs were accompanied by migrating Schwann cells. These findings suggest that charged OPF hydrogels are capable of sustaining both primary nerve cells and the neural support cells that are critical for regeneration.
hydrogel; nerve regeneration; Schwann cells; scaffold
In this study, an injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composite of oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) was investigated as a carrier of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). 10K OPF hydrogels were used to encapsulate mESCs. The cell differentiation in vitro over 14 days was determined via immunohistochemical examination. Then, mESCs encapsulated in OPF hydrogels were injected into the left ventricular wall of a rat myocardial infarction model. Detailed histological analysis and echocardiography were used to determine the structural and functional consequences after 4 weeks of transplantation. With ascorbic acid induction, mESCs could differentiate into cardiomyocytes and other cell types in all three lineages in the OPF hydrogel. After transplantation, both the 24h-cell retention and 4-week graft size were significantly greater in the OPF + ESC group than that of the PBS + ESC group (p<0.01). Four weeks after transplantation, OPF hydrogel alone significantly reduced the infarct size and collagen deposition and improved the cardiac function. The heart function and revascularization improved significantly, while the infarct size and fibrotic area decreased significantly in the OPF + ESC group compared with that of the PBS +ESC group, OPF group and PBS group (p<0.01). All treatments had significantly reduced MMP2 and MMP9 protein levels compared to the PBS control group, and the OPF + ESC group decreased most by Western blotting. Transplanted mESCs expressed cardiovascular markers. This study suggest the potential of a method for heart regeneration involving oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) hydrogels for stem cell encapsulation and transplantation.
cardiac tissue engineering; injectable hydrogels; cell encapsulation; embryonic stem cell; myocardial infarction
An injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composite of oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) and gelatin microparticles (MPs) has been investigated as a cell and growth factor carrier for cartilage tissue engineering applications. In this study, hydrogel composites with different swelling ratios were prepared by crosslinking OPF macromers with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) repeating units of varying molecular weights from 1,000 ~ 35,000. Rabbit marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and MPs loaded with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were encapsulated in the hydrogel composites in order to examine the effect of the swelling ratio of the hydrogel composites on the chondrogenic differentiation of encapsulated rabbit marrow MSCs both in the presence and absence of TGF-β1. The swelling ratio of the hydrogel composites increased as the PEG molecular weight in the OPF macromers increased. Chondrocyte-specific genes were expressed at higher levels in groups containing TGF-β1-loaded MPs and varied with the swelling ratio of the hydrogel composites. OPF hydrogel composites with PEG repeating units of molecular weight 35,000 and 10,000 with TGF-β1-loaded MPs exhibited a 159 ± 95 and a 89 ± 31 fold increase in type II collagen gene expression at day 28, respectively, while OPF hydrogel composites with PEG repeating units of molecular weight 3,000 and 1,000 with TGF-β1-loaded MPs showed a 27 ± 10 and a 17 ± 7 fold increase in type II collagen gene expression, respectively, as compared to the composites with blank MPs at day 0. The results indicate that chondrogenic differentiation of encapsulated rabbit marrow MSCs within OPF hydrogel composites could be affected by their swelling ratio, thus suggesting the potential of OPF composite hydrogels as part of a novel strategy for controlling the differentiation of stem cells.
injectable hydrogels; crosslinking; marrow mesenchymal stem cells; gelatin microparticles; TGF-β1; chondrogenic differentiation; cartilage tissue engineering
We investigated the development of an injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composite of oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) with encapsulated rabbit marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and gelatin microparticles (MPs) loaded with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) for cartilage tissue engineering applications. Rabbit MSCs and TGF-β1-loaded MPs were mixed with OPF, a poly(ethylene glycol)-diacrylate crosslinker and the radical initiators ammonium persulfate and N,N,N’,N’-tetramethylethylenediamine, and then crosslinked at 37°C for 8 min to form hydrogel composites. Three studies were conducted over 14 days in order to examine the effects of: 1) the composite formulation, 2) the MSC seeding density, and 3) the TGF-β1 concentration on the chondrogenic differentiation of encapsulated rabbit MSCs. Bioassay results showed no significant difference in DNA amount between groups, however, groups with MPs had a significant increase in glycosaminoglycan content per DNA starting at day 7 as compared to controls at day 0. Chondrocyte-specific gene expression of type II collagen and aggrecan were only evident in groups containing TGF-β1-loaded MPs and varied with TGF-β1 concentration in a dose dependent manner. Specifically, type II collagen gene expression exhibited a 161 ± 49 fold increase and aggrecan gene expression a 221 ± 151 fold increase after 14 days with the highest dose of TGF-β1 (16 ng/ml). These results indicate that encapsulated rabbit MSCs remained viable over the culture period and differentiated into chondrocyte-like cells, thus suggesting the potential of OPF composite hydrogels as part of a novel strategy for localized delivery of stem cells and bioactive molecules.
Cartilage tissue engineering; marrow mesenchymal stem cells; gelatin microparticles; injectable hydrogels; TGF-β1
To inform future efforts in tendon/ligament tissue engineering, our laboratory has developed a well-controlled model system with the ability to alter both external tensile loading parameters and local biochemical cues to better understand marrow stromal cell differentiation in response to both stimuli concurrently. In particular, the synthetic, poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogel material oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) has been explored as a cell carrier for this system. This biomaterial can be tailored to present covalently incorporated bioactive moieties and can be loaded in our custom cyclic tensile bioreactor for up to 28 days with no loss of material integrity. Human marrow stromal cells encapsulated in these OPF hydrogels were cultured (21 days) under cyclic tensile strain (10%, 1 Hz, 3 h of strain followed by 3 h without) or at 0% strain. No difference was observed in cell number due to mechanical stimulation or across time (n = 4), with cells remaining viable (n = 4) through 21 days. Cyclic strain significantly upregulated all tendon/ligament fibroblastic genes examined (collagen I, collagen III, and tenascin-C) by day 21 (n ≥ 6), whereas genes for other pathways (osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic) did not increase. After 21 days, the presence of collagen I and tenascin-C was observed via immunostaining (n = 2). This study demonstrates the utility of this hydrogel/bioreactor system as a versatile, yet well-controlled, model environment to study marrow stromal cell differentiation toward the tendon/ligament phenotype under a variety of conditions.
This study aimed to elucidate the role of charge in mediating chondrocyte response to loading by employing synthetic 3D hydrogels. Specifically, neutral poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels were employed where negatively charged chondroitin sulfate (ChS), one of the main extracellular matrix components of cartilage, was systematically incorporated into the PEG network at 0%, 20% or 40% to control the fixed charge density. PEG hydrogels were employed as a control environment for extracellular events which occur as a result of loading, but which are not associated with a charged matrix (e.g., cell deformation and fluid flow). Freshly isolated bovine articular chondrocytes were embedded in the hydrogels and subject to dynamic mechanical stimulation (0.3 Hz, 15% amplitude strains, 6 hours) and assayed for nitric oxide production, cell proliferation, proteoglycan synthesis, and collagen deposition. In the absence of loading, incorporation of charge inhibited cell proliferation by ~75%, proteoglycan synthesis by ~22–50% depending on ChS content, but had no affect on collagen deposition. Dynamic loading had no effect on cellular responses in PEG hydrogels. However, dynamically loading 20% ChS gels inhibited nitrite production by 50%, cell proliferation by 40%, but stimulated proteoglycan and collagen deposition by 162% and 565%, respectively. Dynamic loading of 40% ChS hydrogels stimulated nitrite production by 62% and proteoglycan synthesis by 123%, but inhibited cell proliferation by 54% and collagen deposition by 52%. Upon removing the load and culturing under free swelling conditions for 36 hrs, the enhanced matrix synthesis observed in the 20% ChS gels was not maintained suggesting that loading is necessary to stimulate matrix production. In conclusion, extracellular events associated with a charged matrix has a dramatic affect on how chondrocytes respond to mechanical stimulation within these artificial 3D matrices suggesting that streaming potentials and/or dynamic changes in osmolarity may be important regulators of chondrocytes while cell deformation and fluid flow appear to have less of an effect.
cartilage; chondrocyte; chondroitin sulfate; hydrogel; fixed charged density; dynamic load
Oligo (polyethylene glycol) fumarate (OPF) hydrogel has been employed in musculoskeletal tissue engineering for photo-encapsulation of chondrocytes and as a matrix for marrow stromal cells differentiation. In this study, we have studied the application of OPF hydrogel for co-encapsulation of DNA and bone cells and examined whether co-encapsulation can enhance gene transfer by maintaining the DNA within the cellular microenvironment. Our results showed that plasmid DNA encoding green fluorescence protein (GFP), co-encapsulated with bone tumor cells, was capable of transfecting the cells and the transfected tumor cells continuously expressed GFP protein over the time course of study (21 days). Furthermore, we have examined the co-encapsulation of estrogen receptor (ER) encoding plasmid DNA and human fetal osteoblast cells (hFOB) that lack endogenous ER. Our results show that the transfected cells responded to estrogen as alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and estrogen response element (ERE)-directed luciferase enzyme activities increased with estrogen-treatment. Taken together, these studies show that OPF hydrogel could be further explored for targeted gene delivery in bone and other tissues encapsulated within the hydrogels.
Bone tissue engineering; DNA delivery, Hydrogel; Osteoblast, Estrogen receptor
This study describes the use of oligo [(polyethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) hydrogel scaffolds as vehicles for sustained delivery of dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (dbcAMP) to the transected spinal cord. dbcAMP was encapsulated in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres, which were embedded within the scaffolds architecture. Functionality of the released dbcAMP was assessed using neurite outgrowth assays in PC12 cells and by delivery to the transected spinal cord within OPF seven channel scaffolds, which had been loaded with Schwann cells or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Our results showed that encapsulation of dbcAMP in microspheres lead to prolonged release and continued functionality in vitro. These microspheres were then successfully incorporated into OPF scaffolds and implanted in the transected thoracic spinal cord. Sustained delivery of dbcAMP inhibited axonal regeneration in the presence of Schwann cells but rescued MSC-induced inhibition of axonal regeneration. dbcAMP was also shown to reduce capillary formation in the presence of MSCs, which was coupled with significant functional improvements. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating PLGA microsphere technology for spinal cord transection studies. It represents a novel sustained delivery mechanism within the transected spinal cord and provides a platform for potential delivery of other therapeutic agents.
This study describes investigation of porous photocrosslinked oligo[(polyethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) hydrogels as potential matrix for osteoblastic differentiation of marrow stromal cells (MSCs). The porosity and interconnectivity of porous hydrogels were assessed using magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) as a noninvasive investigative tool that could image the water construct inside the hydrogels at a high spatial resolution. MSCs were cultured onto the porous hydrogels and cell number was assessed using PicoGreen DNA assay. Our results showed 10% of cells initially attached to the surface of scaffolds. However, cells did not show significant proliferation over a time period of 14 days. MSCs cultured on porous hydrogels had increased alkaline phosphatase activity as well as deposition of calcium, suggesting successful differentiation and maturation to the osteoblastic phenotype. Moreover, continued expression of type I collagen and osteonectin over 14 days confirmed osteoblastic differentiation of MSCs. MRM was also applied to monitor osteogenesis of MSCs on porous hydrogels. MRM images showed porous scaffolds became consolidated with osteogenic progression of cell differentiation. These findings indicate that porous OPF scaffolds enhanced MSC differentiation leading to development of bone-like mineralized tissue.
Hydrogel; oligo[(polyethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF); Marrow stromal cells; Magnetic resonance microscopy; Osteogenesis
In neural tissue engineering, designing materials with the right chemical cues is crucial in providing a permissive microenvironment to encourage and guide neuronal cell attachment and differentiation. Modifying synthetic hydrogels with biologically active molecules has become an increasingly important route in this field to provide a successful biomaterial and cell interaction. This study presents a strategy of using the monomer 2-methacryloxyethyl trimethylammonium chloride (MAETAC) to provide tethered neurotransmitter acetylcholine-like functionality with a complete 2-acetoxy-N,N,N-trimethylethanaminium segment, thereby modifying the properties of commonly used, non-adhesive PEG-based hydrogels. The effect of the functional monomer concentration on the physical properties of the hydrogels was systematically studied, and the resulting hydrogels were also evaluated for mice hippocampal neural cell attachment and growth. Results from this study showed that MAETAC in the hydrogels promotes neuronal cell attachment and differentiation in a concentration-dependent manner, different proportions of MAETAC monomer in the reaction mixture produce hydrogels with different porous structures, swollen states, and mechanical strengths. Growth of mice hippocampal cells cultured on the hydrogels showed differences in number, length of processes and exhibited different survival rates. Our results indicate that chemical composition of the biomaterials is a key factor in neural cell attachment and growth, and integration of the appropriate amount of tethered neurotransmitter functionalities can be a simple and effective way to optimize existing biomaterials for neuronal tissue engineering applications.
PEG-based hydrogels; Neurotransmitters; Acetylcholine functionality; Concentration-dependent manner
Iterative peptide design was used to generate two peptide-based hydrogels to study the effect of network electrostatics on primary chondrocyte behavior. MAX8 and HLT2 peptides have formal charge states of +7 and +5 per monomer, respectively. These peptides undergo triggered folding and self-assembly to afford hydrogel networks having similar rheological behavior and local network morphologies, yet different electrostatic character. Each gel can be used to directly encapsulate and syringe-deliver cells. The influence of network electrostatics on cell viability after encapsulation and delivery, extracellular matrix deposition, gene expression, and the bulk mechanical properties of the gel-cell constructs as a function of culture time was assessed. The less electropositive HLT2 gel provides a microenvironment more conducive to chondrocyte encapsulation, delivery, and phenotype maintenance. Cell viability was higher for this gel and although a moderate number of cells dedifferentiated to a fibroblast-like phenotype, many retained their chondrocytic behavior. As a result, gel-cell constructs prepared with HLT2, cultured under static in vitro conditions, contained more GAG and type II collagen resulting in mechanically superior constructs. Chondrocytes delivered in the more electropositive MAX8 gel experienced a greater degree of cell death during encapsulation and delivery and the remaining viable cells were less prone to maintain their phenotype. As a result, MAX8 gel-cell constructs had fewer cells, of which a limited number were capable of laying down cartilage-specific ECM.
Peptide; Hydrogel; Cell delivery; Self-assembly; Chondrocyte; Tissue engineering
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme involved in mineralization of bone, was incorporated into three hydrogel biomaterials to induce their mineralization with calcium phosphate (CaP). These were collagen type I, a mussel protein-inspired adhesive consisting of PEG substituted with catechol groups, cPEG, and the PEG-fumaric acid copolymer OPF. After incubation in calcium glycerophosphate (Ca-GP) solution, FTIR, EDS, SEM, XRD, SAED, ICP-OES and von Kossa staining confirmed CaP formation. The amount of mineral formed decreased in the order cPEG > collagen > OPF. Mineral:polymer ratio decreased in the order collagen > cPEG > OPF. Mineralization increased Young’s modulus, most profoundly for cPEG. Such enzymatically mineralized hydrogel-CaP composites could find application as bone regeneration materials.
enzymes; biomineralization; hydrogels; biomaterials; composites
Injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composites of crosslinked oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) and gelatin microparticles (MPs) were utilized to fabricate a bilayered osteochondral construct consisting of a chondrogenic layer and an osteogenic layer, and to investigate the differentiation of rabbit marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) encapsulated in both layers in vitro. The results showed that MSCs in the chondrogenic layer were able to undergo chondrogenic differentiation, especially in the presence of TGF-β1-loaded MPs. In the osteogenic layer, cells maintained their osteoblastic phenotype. Although calcium deposition in the osteogenic layer was limited, cells in the osteogenic layer significantly enhanced chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs in the chondrogenic layer. The greatest effect was observed when MSCs were encapsulated with TGF-β1-loaded MPs and cultured with osteogenic cells in the bilayered constructs. Overall, this study demonstrates the fabrication of bilayered hydrogel composites that mimic the structure and function of osteochondral tissue, along with the application of these composites as cell and growth factor carriers.
mesenchymal stem cell; cartilage tissue engineering; hydrogel; cell encapsulation; drug delivery; growth factors; composite; biomimetic material
This work examines the immobilization of myoglobin from horse skeletal muscle in hydrophilic polymer networks. Due to specific changes in the spectroscopic properties of hemoproteins during ligand binding, they could be employed in optical sensing devices. Two immobilization techniques were considered: imbibition and entrapment. Anionic hydrogels composed of methacrylic acid (MAA), cationic hydrogels composed of dimethylamino ethyl methacrylate (DMAEM), and neutral hydrogels composed of poly(ethylene glycol) monomethyl ether monomethacrylate (PEGMA; molecular weight = 200, 400, or 1000), all crosslinked with poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDMA) (molecular weight = 200, 600, or 1000), were synthesized by free-radical solution polymerization. By the imbibition method, MAA-based hydrogels incorporated the highest amount of myoglobin in comparison with PEGMA or DMAEM polymers. The evaluation of the correlation length of the networks revealed that MAA hydrogels had the highest correlation length in comparison with PEGMA-containing matrices or DMAEM hydrogels. Release experiments from MAA hydrogels at pHs 5.8 and 7.0 showed that the solute-transport mechanism was a combination of Fickian and chain relaxation diffusion. Myoglobin-loaded MAA hydrogels retained their heme reactivity after the immobilization process. The release of myoglobin incorporated by entrapment in MAA–PEGDMA hydrogels was highly influenced by the chain relaxation process. The diffusion coefficients of myoglobin incorporated by entrapment into anionic hydrogels were 2 orders of magnitude smaller (~10–13) than those for myoglobin incorporated by imbibition (10–11), both evaluated at pH 7.0. Substrate binding studies indicated that the protein biological activity was not compromised in those hydrogels loaded by the imbibition method, whereas prepolymeric solutions showed detrimental effects on protein stability.
biological applications of polymers; diffusion; proteins; sensors
In this work, injectable, biodegradable hydrogel composites of crosslinked oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) and gelatin microparticles (MPs) were utilized to fabricate a bilayered osteochondral construct. Rabbit marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were encapsulated with transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3)-loaded MPs in the chondrogenic layer and cocultured with cells of different periods of osteogenic preculture (0, 3, 6 and 12 days) in the osteogenic layer to investigate the effects of TGF-β3 delivery and coculture on the proliferation and differentiation of cells in both layers. The results showed that, in the chondrogenic layer, TGF-β3 significantly stimulated chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs. Additionally, cells of various osteogenic preculture periods in the osteogenic layer, along with TGF-β3, enhanced gene expression for MSC chondrogenic markers to different extents. In the osteogenic layer, cells maintained their alkaline phosphatase activity during the coculture; however, mineralization was delayed by the presence of TGF-β3. Overall, this study demonstrated the fabrication of bilayered hydrogel composites that mimic the structure and function of osteochondral tissue, along with the application of these composites as cell and growth factor carriers, while illustrating that encapsulated cells of different degrees of osteogenic differentiation can significantly influence the chondrogenic differentiation of cocultured progenitor cells in both the presence and absence of chondrogenic growth factors.
bilayered hydrogel composites; mesenchymal stem cell; cell differentiation; coculture
We demonstrate a recycled ion – flux through heterogeneous nanoporous junctions, which induce stable ion concentration polarization (ICP) with an electric field. The nanoporous junctions are based on integration of ionic hydrogels whose surfaces are negatively- and positively- charged for cationic selectivity and anionic selectivity, respectively. It is shown that a ‘heterojunction’ structure with cationic selective hydrogels (CSH) and anionic selective hydrogels (ASH) can be matched up in a way to achieve continuous ion-flux operation for stable concentration gradient or ionic conductance. Furthermore, the combined junctions can be used to accumulate ions on a specific region of the device.
Background of the Study
The propose of the present work was to develop chemically cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol-co-poly(methacrylic acid) hydrogel (PVA-MAA hydrogel) for pH responsive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU).
PVA based hydrogels were prepared by free radical copolymerization. PVA has been cross-linked chemically with monomer (methacrylic acid) in aqueous medium, cross-linking agent was ethylene glycol di-methacrylate (EGDMA) and benzoyl peroxide was added as reaction initiator. 5-FU was loaded as model drug. FTIR, XRD, TGA and DSC were performed for characterization of copolymer. Surface morphology was studied by SEM. pH sensitive properties were evaluated by swelling dynamics and equilibrium swelling ratio at low and higher pH.
FTIR, XRD, TGA and DSC studies confirmed the formation of new copolymer. Formulations with higher MAA contents showed maximum swelling at 7.4 pH. High drug loading and higher drug release has been observed at pH 7.4.
The current study concludes that a stable copolymeric network of PVA was developed with MAA. The prepared hydrogels were highly pH responsive. This polymeric network could be a potential delivery system for colon targeting of 5-FU in colorectal cancers.
Polyvinyl alcohol; Methacrylic acid; Hydrogel; 5-Fluorouracil; pH-responsive
Recent studies have suggested that complexation hydrogels poly(methacrylic acid-g-ethylene glycol) (henceforth designated as P(MAA-g-EG)) exhibit high insulin incorporation efficiency, rapid insulin release in the intestine based on their pH-dependent complexation properties, enzyme-inhibiting effects and mucoadhesive characteristics. Therefore, they are promising carriers for insulin delivery via an oral route. As we designed these hydrogels as carriers suitable for oral administration of various peptide/protein drugs, in this study we aimed at investigating the applicability of P(MAA-g-EG) hydrogels to improving the intestinal absorption of various peptide/protein drugs. High incorporation efficiency into hydrogels was observed for insulin, calcitonin, and interferon β. In addition, polymer microparticles loaded with calcitonin and interferon β exhibited complexation/decomplexation and pH-sensitive release behavior. The molecular weight and chemical structure appeared to affect the efficiency of incorporation and release depending on the peptides and proteins. Furthermore, a drastic reduction of plasma calcium concentration accompanied by calcium absorption and a dose-dependent enhancement of plasma interferon β concentration were observed after the administration of particles loaded with calcitonin or interferon β into closed rat ileal segments. These findings indicate that P(MAA-g-EG) hydrogels are promising carriers for administration of various peptides and proteins via an oral route.
interferon β; calcitonin; intestinal absorption; complexation polymers; drug delivery system
Soft-polymer based microparticles are currently being applied in many biomedical applications, ranging from bioimaging and bioassays to drug delivery carriers. As one class of soft-polymers, hydrogels are materials, which can be used for delivering drug cargoes and can be fabricated in controlled sizes. Among the various hydrogel-forming polymers, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) based hydrogel systems are widely used due to their negligible toxicity and limited immunogenic recognition. Physical and chemical properties of particles (i.e., particle size, shape, surface charge, and hydrophobicity) are known to play an important role in cell-particle recognition and response. To understand the role of physicochemical properties of PEG-based hydrogel structures on cells, it is important to have geometrically precise and uniform hydrogel structures. To fabricate geometrically uniform structures, we have employed electron beam lithography (EBL) and ultra-violet optical lithography (UVL) using PEG or PEG diacrylate polymers. These hydrogel structures have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), optical microscopy, and attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) confirming control of chemistry, size, and shape.
poly(ethylene glycol); poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate; 2-hydroxy-4’-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-2-metylpropiophenone
The widespread incidence of recurrent caries highlights the need for improved dental restorative materials. The objective of this study was to synthesize low viscosity ionic dimethacrylate monomers (IDMAs) that contain quaternary ammoniums groups (antimicrobial functionalities) and are compatible with existing dental dimethacrylate-based monomers. Such monomers have the potential to copolymerize with other methacrylate monomers and produce antibacterial polymers.
Two monomers (IDMA-1 and IDMA-2) were synthesized using the Menschutkin reaction and incorporated at 0% to 30% (by mass) into a 1:1 (by mass) bisphenol A glycerolate dimethacrylate (BisGMA):triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) resin. Resin viscosity was quantified using rheology, and polymer degree of conversion (DC) and surface charge density were measured using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and fluorescein binding, respectively. Effects of IDMA-1 on initial attachment of Streptococcus mutans and on viability and enzymatic activity (formazan reduction) of RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cells were quantified.
IDMA-1 and IDMA-2 were prepared and characterized. IDMA-1 was miscible with BisGMA:TEGDMA and slightly increased the resin viscosity and DC. As expected, polymeric surface charge density increased with increasing IDMA-1. Incorporation of 10% IDMA-1 into BisGMA:TEGDMA reduced bacterial colonization without affecting viability or enzymatic activity of mammalian cells. Increasing IDMA-1 up to 30% had no additional effect on bacterial coverage, but ≥ 20% IDMA-1 significantly reduced macrophage density, viability, and enzymatic activity. Leachables from polymers containing IDMA-1 were not cytotoxic.
The Menschutkin reaction provides a facile, convenient means to synthesize new monomers with quaternary ammonium groups for dental and medical applications.
bacterial adhesion; cytotoxicity; dental restorative material; degree of conversion; dimethacrylate monomer; Menschutkin reaction; MTT assay; quaternary ammonium salts; Streptococcus mutans; surface charge density
Hemagglutination is widely used in transfusion medicine and depends on several factors including antigens, antibodies, electrical properties of red blood cells and the environment of the reaction. Intermolecular forces are involved in agglutination with cell clumping occurring when the aggregation force is greater than the force of repulsion. Repulsive force is generated by negative charges on the red blood cell surface that occur due to the presence of the carboxyl group of sialic acids in the cell membrane; these charges create a repulsive electric zeta potential between cells. In transfusion services, specific solutions are used to improve hemagglutination, including enzymes that reduce the negative charge of red blood cells, LISS which improves the binding of antibodies to antigens and macromolecules that decrease the distance between erythrocytes. The specificity and sensitivity of immunohematological reactions depend directly on the appropriate use of these solutions. Knowledge of the electrical properties of red blood cells and of the action of enhancement solutions can contribute to the immunohematology practice in transfusion services.
Zeta potential; Erythrocytes; Optical tweezers; Agglutination