Tunable Hydrogels for External Manipulation of Cellular Microenvironments through Controlled Photodegradation

Authors

  • April M. Kloxin,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering University of Colorado at Boulder 424 UCB, ECCH 111, Boulder, CO 80309 (USA)
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  • Mark W. Tibbitt,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering University of Colorado at Boulder 424 UCB, ECCH 111, Boulder, CO 80309 (USA)
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  • Andrea M. Kasko,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute University of Colorado at Boulder 424 UCB, ECCH 111, Boulder, CO 80309 (USA)
    2. Present address: Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1600, USA
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  • Jonathan A. Fairbairn,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering University of Colorado at Boulder 424 UCB, ECCH 111, Boulder, CO 80309 (USA)
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  • Kristi S. Anseth

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute University of Colorado at Boulder 424 UCB, ECCH 111, Boulder, CO 80309 (USA)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute University of Colorado at Boulder 424 UCB, ECCH 111, Boulder, CO 80309 (USA).
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Abstract

original image

A photocleavable, poly(ethylene-glycol)-based hydrogel is presented in which predictable, user-defined gradients in the network's structure can be fabricated in real time under cytocompatible conditions. This platform provides new opportunities to investigate how material structure influences cell function. Here, cell morphology is directed spatially by degradation-induced gradients in the local polymer density (see figure, scale bars: 50 μm).

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