Time-Dependent Alginate/Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogels as Injectable Cell Carriers

Time-Dependent Alginate/Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogels as Injectable Cell Carriers
Sang Ho ChoSung Mook Lim한동근Soon Hong YukGun Il ImJin Ho Lee
Hydrogel; Cell Carrier; Alginate; Polyvinyl Alcohol
Issue Date
Journal of biomaterials science, Polymer edition
VOL 20, 863-876
Alginate hydrogels have been widely utilized as cell carriers due to their simplicity for fabricating cellimmobilized gel beads or 3-dimentional porous scaffolds, biocompatibility and non-toxicity to cells. Generally alginate hydrogels have been produced by contacting alginate solution with CaCl2 as a cross-linking agent. However, the major disadvantages of this system are that the gelation rate is too fast and hard to control, and the prepared alginate gels cannot be injected. Injectable alginates have been prepared by using CaSO4 or CaCO3 as a cross-linking agent. However, the gelation rate of alginate with CaCO3 is slow owing to the low solubility of CaCO3 in water, while that with CaSO4 is too fast to form uniform gels. In this study, we prepared injectable alginate/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) blend hydrogels with controllable gelation rate by using CaSO4 as a cross-linking agent and Na2HPO4 as a cross-linking retardation agent. The gelation rate could be controlled by adjusting CaSO4/Na2HPO4 ratio in the solution. The alginate and PVA showed good compatibility in aqueous solutions or gels. The gelation rate of alginate increased with increasing Na2HPO4 and decreasing CaSO4 concentrations, as expected. The PVA itself in the alginate/PVA blend did not affect the gelation rate. All alginate/PVA hydrogels demonstrated some extraction of PVA, but the extraction extent was not much even after 7 days immersion in water. The alginate/PVA hydrogels were examined for their in vitro cell compatibility by the culture of chondrocytes (human chondrocyte cell line) in the gels up to 28 days. The cells were grown almost linearly in the alginate/PVA hydrogels with higher PVA compositions showing better cell growth. The GAG contents from the cells in the hydrogels did not show dramatic changes with culture time, however, they also increased gradually in the alginate/PVA hydrogels with higher PVA composition.
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