Extracellular-matrix-based and Arg-Gly-Asp-modified photopolymerizing hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering.
Articular cartilage damage is a persistent and increasing problem with the aging population. Strategies to achieve complete repair or functional restoration remain a challenge. Photopolymerizing-based hydrogels have long received an attention in the cartilage tissue engineering, due to their unique bioactivities, flexible method of synthesis, range of constituents, and desirable physical characteristics. In the present study, we have introduced unique bioactivity within the photopolymerizing-based hydrogels by copolymerizing polyethylene glycol (PEG) macromers with methacrylated extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules (hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate [CS]) and integrin binding peptides (RGD peptide). Results indicate that cellular morphology, as observed by the actin cytoskeleton structures, was strongly dependent on the type of ECM component as well as the presence of integrin binding moieties. Further, CS-based hydrogel with integrin binding RGD moieties increased the lubricin (or known as superficial zone protein [SZP]) gene expression of the encapsulated chondrocytes. Additionally, CS-based hydrogel displayed cell-responsive degradation and resulted in increased DNA, GAG, and collagen accumulation compared with other hydrogels. This study demonstrates that integrin-mediated interactions within CS microenvironment provide an optimal hydrogel scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering application.
Kim, HD; Heo, J; Hwang, Y; Kwak, S-Y; Park, OK; Kim, H; Varghese, S; Hwang, NS
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