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Biomatter. 2013 Jan-Mar;3(1). pii: e23799. doi: 10.4161/biom.23799. Epub 2013 Jan 1.

Hyaluronic acid hydrogels for vocal fold wound healing.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering; University of Wisconsin Madison; Madison, WI USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering; University of Wisconsin Madison; Madison, WI USA; Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery; Department of Surgery; University of Wisconsin Madison; Madison, WI USA.


The unique vibrational properties inherent to the human vocal fold have a significant detrimental impact on wound healing and scar formation. Hydrogels have taken prominence as a tissue engineered strategy to restore normal vocal structure and function as cellularity is low. The frequent vibrational and shear forces applied to, and present in this connective tissue make mechanical properties of such hydrogels a priority in this active area of research. Hyaluronic acid has been chemically modified in a variety of ways to address cell function while maintaining desirable tissue mechanical properties. These various modifications have had mixed results when injected in vivo typically resulting in better biomechanical function but not necessarily with a concomitant decrease in tissue fibrosis. Recent work has focused on seeding mesenchymal progenitor cells within 3D architecture of crosslinked hydrogels. The data from these studies demonstrate that this approach has a positive effect on cells in both early and late wound healing, but little work has been done regarding the biomechanical effects of these treatments. This paper provides an overview of the various hyaluronic acid derivatives, their crosslinking agents, and their effect when implanted into the vocal folds of various animal models.


hyaluronic acid hydrogel; progenitor cell; tissue engineering; vocal fold

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