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TECHNICAL ARTICLE
Injectable biodegradable hybrid hydrogels based on thiolated collagen and oligo(acryloyl carbonate)?poly(ethylene glycol)?oligo(acryloyl carbonate) copolymer for functional cardiac regeneration

Publication date: 15 March 2015
Source:Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 15

Author(s): Guohui Xu , Xiaolin Wang , Chao Deng , Xiaomei Teng , Erik J. Suuronen , Zhenya Shen , Zhiyuan Zhong

Injectable biodegradable hybrid hydrogels were designed and developed based on thiolated collagen (Col-SH) and multiple acrylate containing oligo(acryloyl carbonate)-b-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-oligo(acryloyl carbonate) (OAC-PEG-OAC) copolymers for functional cardiac regeneration. Hydrogels were readily formed under physiological conditions (37°C and pH 7.4) from Col-SH and OAC-PEG-OAC via a Michael-type addition reaction, with gelation times ranging from 0.4 to 8.1min and storage moduli from 11.4 to 55.6kPa, depending on the polymer concentrations, solution pH and degrees of substitution of Col-SH. The collagen component in the hybrid hydrogels retained its enzymatic degradability against collagenase, and the degradation time of the hydrogels increased with increasing polymer concentration. In vitro studies showed that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) exhibited rapid cell spreading and extensive cellular network formation on these hybrid hydrogels. In a rat infarction model, the infarcted left ventricle was injected with PBS, hybrid hydrogels, BMSCs or BMSC-encapsulating hybrid hydrogels. Echocardiography demonstrated that the hybrid hydrogels and BMSC-encapsulating hydrogels could increase the ejection fraction at 28days compared to the PBS control group, resulting in improved cardiac function. Histology revealed that the injected hybrid hydrogels significantly reduced the infarct size and increased the wall thickness, and these were further improved with the BMSC-encapsulating hybrid hydrogel treatment, probably related to the enhanced engraftment and persistence of the BMSCs when delivered within the hybrid hydrogel. Thus, these injectable hybrid hydrogels combining intrinsic bioactivity of collagen, controlled mechanical properties and enhanced stability provide a versatile platform for functional cardiac regeneration.
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration