Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics Research Group

Papers in Scientific Journals

Gellan Gum Injectable Hydrogels for Cartilage Tissue Engineering Applications:In Vitro Studies and Preliminary In Vivo Evaluation


Gellan gum is a polysaccharide that we have previously proposed for applications in the cartilage tissue engineering field. In this work, gellan gum hydrogels were tested for their ability to be used as injectable systems using simple processing methods, able to deliver and maintain chondrocytes by in situ gelation, and support cell viability and production of extracellular matrix (ECM). Rheological measurements determined that the sol–gel transition occurred near the body temperature at 398C, upon temperature decrease, in approximately 20 s. Gellan gum discs shows a storage compression modulus of around 80kPa at a frequency of 1Hz by dynamic me- chanical analysis. Human articular chondrocytes were encapsulated in the gels, cultured in vitro for total periods of 56 days, and analyzed for cell viability and ECM production. Calcein AM staining showed that cell kept viable after 14 days and the histological analysis and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that hyaline-like cartilage ECM was synthesized. Finally, the in vivo performance of the gellan gum hydrogels, in terms of induced inflammatory reaction and integration into the host tissue, was evaluated by subcutaneous implantation in Balb=c mice for 21 days. Histological analysis showed a residual fibrotic capsule at the end of the experiments. Dynamic mechanical analysis revealed that the gels were stable throughout the experiments while evidencing a tendency for decreasing mechanical properties, which was consistent with weight measurements. Altogether, the results demonstrate the adequacy of gellan gum hydrogels processed by simple methods for noninvasive injectable applications toward the formation of a functional cartilage tissue-engineered construct and originally report the preliminary response of a living organism to the subcutaneous implantation of the gellan gum hydrogels. These are the two novel features of this work.

Tissue Engineering Part A
cartilage, Gellan Gum
Open Access
Peer Reviewed
Year of Publication
Date Published
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