Chemical sintering generates uniform porous hyaluronic acid hydrogels.
The implantation of scaffolds for tissue repair has achieved only limited success due primarily to the inability to achieve vascularization within the construct. Many strategies have therefore moved to incorporate pores into the scaffolds to encourage rapid cellular infiltration and subsequent vascular ingrowth. We utilized an efficient chemical sintering technique to create a uniform network of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres for porous hyaluronic acid hydrogel formation. The porous hydrogels generated from chemical sintering possessed pore uniformity and interconnectivity comparable to the commonly used non- and heat sintering techniques. Moreover, a similar cell response to the porous hydrogels generated from each sintering approach was observed in cell viability, spreading and proliferation in vitro, as well as cellular invasion in vivo. We propose chemical sintering of PMMA microspheres using a dilute acetone solution as an alternative method to generate porous hyaluronic acid hydrogels since it requires equal or 10-fold less processing time as the currently used non-sintering or heat sintering technique, respectively.
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