Covalent attachment of a three-dimensionally printed thermoplast to a gelatin hydrogel for mechanically enhanced cartilage constructs.

Abstract

Hydrogels can provide a suitable environment for tissue formation by embedded cells, which makes them suitable for applications in regenerative medicine. However, hydrogels possess only limited mechanical strength, and must therefore be reinforced for applications in load-bearing conditions. In most approaches the reinforcing component and the hydrogel network have poor interactions and the synergetic effect of both materials on the mechanical properties is not effective. Therefore, in the present study, a thermoplastic polymer blend of poly(hydroxymethylglycolide-co-ε-caprolactone)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (pHMGCL/PCL) was functionalized with methacrylate groups (pMHMGCL/PCL) and covalently grafted to gelatin methacrylamide (gelMA) hydrogel through photopolymerization. The grafting resulted in an at least fivefold increase in interface-binding strength between the hydrogel and the thermoplastic polymer material. GelMA constructs were reinforced with three-dimensionally printed pHMGCL/PCL and pMHMGCL/PCL scaffolds and tested in a model for a focal articular cartilage defect. In this model, covalent bonds at the interface of the two materials resulted in constructs with an improved resistance to repeated axial and rotational forces. Moreover, chondrocytes embedded within the constructs were able to form cartilage-specific matrix both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, by grafting the interface of different materials, stronger hybrid cartilage constructs can be engineered.

DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2014.02.041
01020201520162017
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@article{Boere2014CovalentAO, title={Covalent attachment of a three-dimensionally printed thermoplast to a gelatin hydrogel for mechanically enhanced cartilage constructs.}, author={Kristel W M Boere and Jetze Visser and Hajar Seyednejad and Sima Rahimian and Debby Gawlitta and Mies J. van Steenbergen and Wouter J. A. Dhert and Wim E Hennink and Tina Vermonden and Jos Malda}, journal={Acta biomaterialia}, year={2014}, volume={10 6}, pages={2602-11} }