Fabrication and Characterization of Quad-Component Bioinspired Hydrogels to Model Elevated Fibrin Levels in Central Nervous Tissue Scaffolds




Diaz-Lasprilla, Ana M.
McKee, Meagan
Jimenez-Vergara, Andrea C.
Ravi, Swathisri
Bellamy, Devon
Ortega, Wendy
Crosby, Cody O.
Steele, Jennifer
Plascencia-Villa, Germán
Perry, George

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Multicomponent interpenetrating polymer network (mIPN) hydrogels are promising tissue-engineering scaffolds that could closely resemble key characteristics of native tissues. The mechanical and biochemical properties of mIPNs can be finely controlled to mimic key features of target cellular microenvironments, regulating cell-matrix interactions. In this work, we fabricated hydrogels made of collagen type I (Col I), fibrin, hyaluronic acid (HA), and poly (ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) using a network-by-network fabrication approach. With these mIPNs, we aimed to develop a biomaterial platform that supports the in vitro culture of human astrocytes and potentially serves to assess the effects of the abnormal deposition of fibrin in cortex tissue and simulate key aspects in the progression of neuroinflammation typically found in human pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and tissue trauma. Our resulting hydrogels closely resembled the complex modulus of AD human brain cortex tissue (~7.35 kPa), promoting cell spreading while allowing for the modulation of fibrin and hyaluronic acid levels. The individual networks and their microarchitecture were evaluated using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Human astrocytes were encapsulated in mIPNs, and negligible cytotoxicity was observed 24 h after the cell encapsulation.




Gels 10 (3): 203 (2024)


Neuroscience, Developmental and Regenerative Biology