In Situ Forming Physical Hydrogels for Three-dimensional Tissue Morphogenesis

Authors

  • Yang Liu,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Bo Liu,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Jeremiah J. Riesberg,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
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  • Wei Shen

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
    • Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA. Fax: (+1) 612 626 6583
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Abstract

In situ forming physical hydrogels are formed through a biologically benign reaction between two multi-arm macromers, one containing terminal thiol and the other containing terminal vinyl sulfone groups. One macromer is self-assembled through a coiled-coil domain; and the physical junction of this macromer confers the physical nature to the whole network. Unlike covalently cross-linked hydrogels in which material degradation is a prerequisite for three-dimensional cell movement, these physical hydrogels have junctions that undergo reversible dissociation and re-association, constitutively opening paths for cell movement. Epithelial cells encapsulated in these hydrogels can form hollow spherical cysts without the need for material degradation.

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