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Gelatin- and starch-based hydrogels. Part A: Hydrogel development, characterization and coating.

  • Van Nieuwenhove, Ine1
  • Salamon, Achim2
  • Peters, Kirsten2
  • Graulus, Geert-Jan1
  • Martins, José C3
  • Frankel, Daniel4
  • Kersemans, Ken5
  • De Vos, Filip5
  • Van Vlierberghe, Sandra6
  • Dubruel, Peter7
  • 1 Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, Building S4-Bis, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 Department of Cell Biology, Rostock University Medical Center, Schillingallee 69, D-18057 Rostock, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 NMR and Structure Analysis Research Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, Building S4, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 4 School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, University of Newcastle, Mertz Court, Claremont Road, NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
  • 5 Laboratory of Radiopharmacy, Ghent University, Ottergemsesteenweg 460, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 6 Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, Building S4-Bis, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium; Brussels Photonics Team, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, BE-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected]. , (Belgium)
  • 7 Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, Building S4-Bis, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: [email protected]. , (Belgium)
Published Article
Carbohydrate polymers
Publication Date
Nov 05, 2016
DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.06.098
PMID: 27516257


The present work aims at constructing the ideal scaffold matrix of which the physico-chemical properties can be altered according to the targeted tissue regeneration application. Ideally, this scaffold should resemble the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) as close as possible both in terms of chemical composition and mechanical properties. Therefore, hydrogel films were developed consisting of methacrylamide-modified gelatin and starch-pentenoate building blocks because the ECM can be considered as a crosslinked hydrogel network consisting of both polysaccharides and structural, signaling and cell-adhesive proteins. For the gelatin hydrogels, three different substitution degrees were evaluated including 31%, 72% and 95%. A substitution degree of 32% was applied for the starch-pentenoate building block. Pure gelatin hydrogels films as well as interpenetrating networks with gelatin and starch were developed. Subsequently, these films were characterized using gel fraction and swelling experiments, high resolution-magic angle spinning (1)H NMR spectroscopy, rheology, infrared mapping and atomic force microscopy. The results indicate that both the mechanical properties and the swelling extent of the developed hydrogel films can be controlled by varying the chemical composition and the degree of substitution of the methacrylamide-modified gelatin applied. The storage moduli of the developed materials ranged between 14 and 63kPa. Phase separation was observed for the IPNs for which separated starch domains could be distinguished located in the surrounding gelatin matrix. Furthermore, we evaluated the affinity of aggrecan for gelatin by atomic force microscopy and radiolabeling experiments. We found that aggrecan can be applied as a bioactive coating for gelatin hydrogels by a straightforward physisorption procedure. Thus, we achieved distinct fine-tuning of the physico-chemical properties of these hydrogels which render them promising candidates for tissue engineering approaches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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