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Biomed Mater. 2013 Feb;8(1):014105. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/8/1/014105. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Assessments of injectable alginate particle-embedded fibrin hydrogels for soft tissue reconstruction.

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Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.


Soft tissue reconstruction is often needed after massive traumatic damage or cancer removal. In this study, we developed a novel hybrid hydrogel system consisting of alginate particles and a fibrin matrix that could maintain tissue volume long term. Alginate particles were fabricated by mixing 5% alginate with a 20 mM calcium solution. Cells and these alginate particles were then embedded in fibrin (alginate-fibrin) hydrogels using a dual syringe mixer. Cell-hydrogel constructs were evaluated in terms of cell survival and proliferation in the constructs in vitro. The results indicated that cellular viability, spreading and proliferation in the alginate-fibrin hydrogels were significantly higher compared to constructs fabricated with fibrin or alginate only. In vivo explants showed that cells contained within fibrin-only hydrogels did not contribute to neo-tissue formation, and the fibrin was fully degraded within a 12 week period. In the alginate-fibrin system, higher cellularity and vascular ingrowth were observed in vivo. This resulted in neo-tissue formation in the alginate-fibrin hydrogels. These results demonstrate that fibrin may enhance cell proliferation and accelerate the formation of extracellular matrix proteins in the alginate-fibrin system, while the alginate particles could contribute to volume retention. This injectable hybrid system composed of degradable and non-degradable hydrogels may be a preferable approach to the repair of soft tissue defects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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