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Impact of RGD amount in dextran-based hydrogels for cell delivery

Riahi, Nesrine, Liberelle, Benoît, Henry, Olivier, De Crescenzo, Gregory
Carbohydrate polymers 2017 v.161 pp. 219-227
adsorption, cell adhesion, crosslinking, derivatization, dextran, gels, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, hydrocolloids, hydrophilic polymers, porosity, porous media, sodium chloride, topology
Dextran is one of the hydrophilic polymers that is used for hydrogel preparation. As any polysaccharide, it presents a high density of hydroxyl groups, which make possible several types of derivatization and crosslinking reactions. Furthermore, dextran is an excellent candidate for hydrogel fabrication with controlled cell/scaffold interactions as it is resistant to protein adsorption and cell adhesion. RGD peptide can be grafted to the dextran in order to promote selected cell adhesion and proliferation. Altogether, we have developed a novel strategy to graft the RGD peptide sequence to dextran-based hydrogel using divinyl sulfone as a linker. The resulting RGD functionalized dextran-based hydrogels were transparent, presented a smooth surface and were easy to handle. The impact of varying RGD peptide amounts, hydrogel porosity and topology upon human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) adhesion, proliferation and infiltration was investigated. Our results demonstrated that 0.1% of RGD-modified dextran within the gel was sufficient to support HUVEC cells adhesion to the hydrogel surface. Sodium chloride was added (i) to the original hydrogel mix in order to form a macroporous structure presenting interconnected pores and (ii) to the hydrogel surface to create small orifices essential for cells migration inside the matrix.