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Biomaterials. 2002 Dec;23(23):4615-9.

Effect of mammalian cell culture medium on the gelation properties of Pluronic F127.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003-9303, USA.


We investigate the gelation of a poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) copolymer, Pluronic F127, in mammalian cell culture medium for applications in tissue engineering and cell encapsulation. In both minimum essential medium (MEM) and MEM with added fetal bovine serum (MEM-FBS), the gel-phase boundary shifts to lower temperatures and concentrations as compared to pure water. The thermodynamics of gel formation are similar in MEM, MEM-FBS, and pure water, suggesting that the mechanism of gelation is similar in all three solvents. The shift of the sol-gel boundary to lower concentrations is particularly significant for development of cell encapsulation protocols using Pluronics and applications where copolymer concentration must be minimized due to toxicity concerns.

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