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Biomol Eng. 2007 Nov;24(5):496-504. Epub 2007 Aug 12.

Dextran and hyaluronan methacrylate based hydrogels as matrices for soft tissue reconstruction.

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  • 1INNOVENT e. V., Biomaterials Department, Pruessingstrasse 27B, Jena D-07745, Germany.


Polysaccharide hydrogels have become increasingly studied as matrices in soft tissue engineering because of their known cytocompatibility. In this work cross-linkable dextran methacrylates and hyaluronan methacrylate were synthesized and their transformation into stable hydrogels was studied. The in vitro degradation behaviour of the formed hydrogels could be controlled by the polysaccharide structure and the cross-linking density. Under in vitro conditions, the formed gels had no cytotoxic effects against fibroblasts, but cells could adhere only inefficiently in long term experiments. The use of composite gels improved the adherence of cells. Different scaffold architectures were studied including porous structures and perforated gel layers. Selected hydrogels were examined in an in vivo pilot study using a rabbit model to evaluate their biocompatibility, stability and degradation. No signs of inflammation were seen and with prolonged duration the material was degraded and lacunas were formed by immigrating or ingrowing cells. Optimizing their mechanical properties, the formed hydrogels represent promising candidates as matrices for soft tissue reconstruction.

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