Cytocompatible Poly(ethylene glycol)-co-polycarbonate Hydrogels Cross-Linked by Copper-Free, Strain-Promoted Click Chemistry

Authors

  • Dr. Jianwen Xu,

    1. Department of Orthopedics & Physical Rehabilitation, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (USA), Fax: (+1) 508-334-2770
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  • Tera M. Filion,

    1. Department of Orthopedics & Physical Rehabilitation, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (USA), Fax: (+1) 508-334-2770
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  • Fioleda Prifti,

    1. Department of Orthopedics & Physical Rehabilitation, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (USA), Fax: (+1) 508-334-2770
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  • Prof. Jie Song

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Orthopedics & Physical Rehabilitation, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (USA), Fax: (+1) 508-334-2770
    • Department of Orthopedics & Physical Rehabilitation, Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 (USA), Fax: (+1) 508-334-2770

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Abstract

Strategies to encapsulate cells in cytocompatible three-dimensional hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties and degradability without harmful gelling conditions are highly desired for regenerative medicine applications. Here we reported a method for preparing poly(ethylene glycol)-co-polycarbonate hydrogels through copper-free, strain-promoted azide–alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC) click chemistry. Hydrogels with varying mechanical properties were formed by “clicking” azido-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol)-co-polycarbonate macromers with dibenzocyclooctyne-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) under physiological conditions within minutes. Bone marrow stromal cells encapsulated in these gels exhibited higher cellular viability than those encapsulated in photo-cross-linked poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate. The precise control over the macromer compositions, cytocompatible SPAAC cross-linking, and the degradability of the polycarbonate segments make these hydrogels promising candidates for scaffold and stem cell assisted tissue repair and regeneration.

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