Functional Biomaterials: Hyaluronic Acid-Based, Hydrogel Particles and Doubly Crosslinked Networks
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a ubiquitous nonsulfated GAG in ECM. It is naturally biocompatible and biodegradable. It plays critical roles in cell adhesion, differentiation, motility, morphogenesis and wound healing.
We have developed HA-based multifunctional hydrogels with defined biological functions, hierarchical structures and tunable viscoleasticity. Chemical modification of HA was applied to install reactive handles to HA. Inverse emulsion polymerization allows for HA hydrogel particles (HGPs) to be synthesized. Mixing of water soluble HA derivative with HA HGPs carrying complementary functional groups resulted in the formation of doubly crosslinked networks (DXNs). Controlled release of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) was achieved through its anchorage at predetermined locales within the DXN using covalently immobilized perlecan domain I as the ligand reservoir. The HA-based, BMP-2 releasing matrices are capable of stimulating chondrogenic differentiation of the cultured mesenchymal stem cells.
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