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Gelatin-Methacrylamide Hydrogels as Potential Biomaterials for Fabrication of Tissue-Engineered Cartilage Constructs

Authors

  • Wouter Schuurman,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Peter A. Levett,

    1. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove 4059, Australia
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Michiel W. Pot,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Technical Medicine, MIRA (Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Paul René van Weeren,

    1. Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Wouter J. A. Dhert,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Dietmar W. Hutmacher,

    1. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove 4059, Australia
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  • Ferry P. W. Melchels,

    1. Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove 4059, Australia
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  • Travis J. Klein,

    1. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove 4059, Australia
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  • Jos Malda

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove 4059, Australia
    • Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Gelatin-methacrylamide (gelMA) hydrogels are shown to support chondrocyte viability and differentiation and give wide ranging mechanical properties depending on several cross-linking parameters. Polymer concentration, UV exposure time, and thermal gelation prior to UV exposure allow for control over hydrogel stiffness and swelling properties. GelMA solutions have a low viscosity at 37 °C, which is incompatible with most biofabrication approaches. However, incorporation of hyaluronic acid (HA) and/or co-deposition with thermoplastics allows gelMA to be used in biofabrication processes. These attributes may allow engineered constructs to match the natural functional variations in cartilage mechanical and geometrical properties.

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