In recent years, growing attention has been directed to the development of 3D in vitro tissue models for the study of the physiopathological mechanisms behind organ functioning and diseases. Hydrogels, acting as 3D supporting architectures, allow cells to organize spatially more closely to what they physiologically experience in vivo. In this scenario, natural polymer hybrid hydrogels display marked biocompatibility and versatility, representing valid biomaterials for 3D in vitro studies. Here, thermosensitive injectable hydrogels constituted by chitosan and pectin were designed. We exploited the feature of chitosan to thermally undergo sol-gel transition upon the addition of salts, forming a compound that incorporates pectin into a semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN). Three salt solutions were tested, namely, beta-glycerophosphate (βGP), phosphate buffer (PB) and sodium hydrogen carbonate (SHC). The hydrogel formulations (i) were injectable at room temperature, (ii) gelled at 37 °C and (iii) presented a physiological pH, suitable for cell encapsulation. Hydrogels were stable in culture conditions, were able to retain a high water amount and displayed an open and highly interconnected porosity and suitable mechanical properties, with Young's modulus values in the range of soft biological tissues. The developed chitosan/pectin system can be successfully used as a 3D in vitro platform for studying tissue physiopathology.

Preparation and Characterization of Salt-Mediated Injectable Thermosensitive Chitosan/Pectin Hydrogels for Cell Embedding and Culturing

Morello, Giulia;Polini, Alessandro;Scalera, Francesca;Gigli, Giuseppe;Gervaso, Francesca
2021

Abstract

In recent years, growing attention has been directed to the development of 3D in vitro tissue models for the study of the physiopathological mechanisms behind organ functioning and diseases. Hydrogels, acting as 3D supporting architectures, allow cells to organize spatially more closely to what they physiologically experience in vivo. In this scenario, natural polymer hybrid hydrogels display marked biocompatibility and versatility, representing valid biomaterials for 3D in vitro studies. Here, thermosensitive injectable hydrogels constituted by chitosan and pectin were designed. We exploited the feature of chitosan to thermally undergo sol-gel transition upon the addition of salts, forming a compound that incorporates pectin into a semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN). Three salt solutions were tested, namely, beta-glycerophosphate (βGP), phosphate buffer (PB) and sodium hydrogen carbonate (SHC). The hydrogel formulations (i) were injectable at room temperature, (ii) gelled at 37 °C and (iii) presented a physiological pH, suitable for cell encapsulation. Hydrogels were stable in culture conditions, were able to retain a high water amount and displayed an open and highly interconnected porosity and suitable mechanical properties, with Young's modulus values in the range of soft biological tissues. The developed chitosan/pectin system can be successfully used as a 3D in vitro platform for studying tissue physiopathology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/467861
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