Photoencapsulation of chondrocytes in poly(ethylene oxide)-based semi-interpenetrating networks

Author(s): Elisseeff J, McIntosh W, Anseth K, Riley S, Ragan P, et al.

Abstract

A photopolymerizing hydrogel system provides an efficient method to encapsulate cells. The present work describes the in vitro analysis of bovine and ovine chondrocytes encapsulated in a poly(ethylene oxide)-dimethacrylate and poly(ethylene glycol) semi-interpenetrating network using a photopolymerization process. One day after encapsulation, (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-y1]-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide) (MTT) and light microscopy showed chondrocyte survival and a dispersed cell population composed of ovoid and elongated cells. Biochemical analysis demonstrated proteoglycan and collagen contents that increased over 2 weeks of static incubation. Cell content of the gels initially decreased and stabilized. Biomechanical analysis demonstrated the presence of a functional extracellular matrix with equilibrium moduli, dynamic stiffness, and streaming potentials that increased with time. These findings suggest the feasibility of photoencapsulation for tissue engineering and drug delivery purposes.

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