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Injectable glycosaminoglycan-based cryogels from well-defined microscale templates for local growth factor delivery

Newland, Ben ORCID:, Newland, Heike ORCID:, Lorenzi, Francesca, Eigel, Dimitri, Welzel, Petra B., Fischer, Dieter, Wang, Wenxin, Freudenberg, Uwe, Rosser, Anne ORCID: and Werner, Carsten 2021. Injectable glycosaminoglycan-based cryogels from well-defined microscale templates for local growth factor delivery. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 12 (7) , pp. 1178-1188. 10.1021/acschemneuro.1c00005

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Glycosaminoglycan-based hydrogels hold great potential for applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. By mimicking the natural extracellular matrix processes of growth factor binding and release, such hydrogels can be used as a sustained delivery device for growth factors. Since neural networks commonly follow well-defined, high-aspect-ratio paths through the central and peripheral nervous system, we sought to create a fiber-like, elongated growth factor delivery system. Cryogels, with networks formed at subzero temperatures, are well-suited for the creation of high-aspect-ratio biomaterials, because they have a macroporous structure making them mechanically robust (for ease of handling) yet soft and highly compressible (for interfacing with brain tissue). Unlike hydrogels, cryogels can be synthesized in advance of their use, stored with ease, and rehydrated quickly to their original shape. Herein, we use solvent-assisted microcontact molding to form sacrificial templates, in which we produced highly porous cryogel microscale scaffolds with a well-defined elongated shape via the photopolymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate and maleimide-functionalized heparin. Dissolution of the template yielded cryogels that could load nerve growth factor (NGF) and release it over a period of 2 weeks, causing neurite outgrowth in PC12 cell cultures. This microscale template-assisted synthesis technique allows tight control over the cryogel scaffold dimensions for high reproducibility and ease of injection through fine gauge needles.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 1948-7193
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 12 March 2021
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 06:59

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