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Photo-Cross-Linkable Methacrylated Gelatin and Hydroxyapatite Hybrid Hydrogel for Modularly Engineering Biomimetic Osteon

Zuo, Yicong, Liu, Xiaolu, Wei, Dan, Sun, Jing, Xiao, Wenqian, Zhao, Huan, Guo, Likun, Wei, Qingrong, Fan, Hongsong, Zhang, Xingdong
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.19 pp. 10386-10394
biocompatibility, biofabrication, biomimetics, blood vessels, cell viability, coculture, encapsulation, endothelial cells, gelatin, geometry, humans, hydrogels, hydroxyapatite, tissue engineering, tissues
Modular tissue engineering holds great potential in regenerating natural complex tissues by engineering three-dimensional modular scaffolds with predefined geometry and biological characters. In modular tissue-like construction, a scaffold with an appropriate mechanical rigidity for assembling fabrication and high biocompatibility for cell survival is the key to the successful bioconstruction. In this work, a series of composite hydrogels (GH0, GH1, GH2, and GH3) based on a combination of methacrylated gelatin (GelMA) and hydroxyapatite (HA) was exploited to enhance hydrogel mechanical rigidity and promote cell functional expression for osteon biofabrication. These composite hydrogels presented a lower swelling ratio, higher mechanical moduli, and better biocompatibility when compared to the pure GelMA hydrogel. Furthermore, on the basis of the composite hydrogel and photolithograph technology, we successfully constructed an osteon-like concentric double-ring structure in which the inner ring encapsulating human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) was designed to imitate blood vessel tubule while the outer ring encapsulating human osteoblast-like cells (MG63s) acts as part of bone. During the coculture period, MG63s and HUVECs exhibited not only satisfying growth status but also the enhanced genic expression of osteogenesis-related and angiogenesis-related differentiations. These results demonstrate this GelMA–HA composite hydrogel system is promising for modular tissue engineering.