Rheological Properties of Cross-Linked Hyaluronan–Gelatin Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering

Authors

  • Janssen L. Vanderhooft,

    1. Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, 419 Wakara Way, Suite 205, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA
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  • Mataz Alcoutlabi,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, 122 South Central Campus Drive, Room 304, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA
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  • Jules J. Magda,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Utah, 122 South Central Campus Drive, Room 304, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA
    2. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Utah, 50 South Central Campus Drive, Room 3290, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA
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  • Glenn D. Prestwich

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, 419 Wakara Way, Suite 205, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA
    2. Center for Therapeutic Biomaterials, University of Utah, 419 Wakara Way, Suite 205, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA
    • Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, 419 Wakara Way, Suite 205, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1257, USA.
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Abstract

Hydrogels that mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) are used in three-dimensional cell culture, cell therapy, and tissue engineering. A semi-synthetic ECM based on cross-linked hyaluronana offers experimental control of both composition and gel stiffness. The mechanical properties of the ECM in part determine the ultimate cell phenotype. We now describe a rheological study of synthetic ECM hydrogels with storage shear moduli that span three orders of magnitude, from 11 to 3 500 Pa, a range important for engineering of soft tissues. The concentration of the chemically modified HA and the cross-linking density were the main determinants of gel stiffness. Increase in the ratio of thiol-modified gelatin reduced gel stiffness by diluting the effective concentration of the HA component.

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