Studies of in situ-forming hydrogels by blending PLA-PEG-PLA copolymer with silk fibroin solution

Authors

  • Tianyi Zhong,

    1. National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China
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  • Chunmin Deng,

    1. National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China
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  • Yanfei Gao,

    1. National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China
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  • Mei Chen,

    1. National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China
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  • Baoqi Zuo

    Corresponding author
    1. National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China
    • National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, People's Republic of China
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  • How to cite this article: Zhong T, Deng C, Gao Y, Chen M, Zuo B. 2012. Studies of in situ-forming hydrogels by blending PLA-PEGPLA copolymer with silk fibroin solution. J Biomed Mater Res Part A 2012:100A:1983–1989.

Abstract

Hydrogels had been prepared by blending PLA-PEG-PLA copolymer with Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF) solution. Copolymers were synthesized by ring opening polymerization of L-lactide in the presence of dihydroxyl PEG with molar mass of 400 and 1000, and characterized by using 1H NMR and DSC. Hydrogels formed leaf-like lamellar structures with many nanoglobules which may reserve drugs or growth factors more effectively. Rheological measurements indicated that the adding of copolymer significantly accelerated the hydrogelation of silk fibroin solution which leads to orders-of-magnitude increase in the complex shear modulus to form rigid hydrogel. Hydrogelation kinetics could be controlled easily by changing the concentration ratio, kinds of copolymer and hydrogelation temperature, suggesting the hydrogels could be formed in situ under physiological conditions with suitable mechanical properties. Furthermore, Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, and differential thermal analysis were employed to study the structure of hydrogels. The copolymer and SF in blend hydrogels were phase separation. There was an increase of β-sheet content and formation of silk II structure during hydrogelation. These results may indicate that copolymer/SF hydrogels could be a valuable candidate scaffold as in situ-forming hydrogels for drug/growth factor release in tissue engineering. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2012.

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