Enzymatic and ionic crosslinked gelatin/K-carrageenan IPN hydrogels as potential biomaterials



Hydrogels of a natural origin have attracted considerable attention in the field of tissue engineering due to their resemblance to ECM, defined degradability and compatibility with biological systems. In this study, we introduced carrageenan into a gelatin network, creating IPN hydrogels through biological methods of enzymatic and ionic crosslinking. Their gelation processes were monitored and confirmed by rheology analysis. The combination of biochemical and physical crosslinking processes enables the formation of biohydrogels with tunable mechanical properties, swelling ratios and degradation behaviors while maintaining the biocompatibilities of natural materials. The mechanical strength increased with an increase in carrageenan content while swelling ratio and degradability decreased correspondingly. In addition, the IPN hydrogels were shown to support adhesion and proliferation of L929 cell line. All the results highlighted the use of biological crosslinked gelatin-carrageenan IPN hydrogels in the context of tissue engineering. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 10.1002/app.40975.