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Biomaterials. 2017 Jul;133:20-28. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.04.008. Epub 2017 Apr 9.

Glucose-sensitive self-healing hydrogel as sacrificial materials to fabricate vascularized constructs.

Author information

1
Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
2
Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
3
The Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology (Ministry of Education), Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
4
Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan. Electronic address: shhsu@ntu.edu.tw.

Abstract

A major challenge in tissue engineering is the lack of proper vascularization. Although various approaches have been used to build vascular network in a tissue engineering construct, there remain some drawbacks. Herein, a glucose-sensitive self-healing hydrogel are employed as sacrificial materials to fabricate branched tubular channels within a construct. The hydrogel composes of mainly reversibly crosslinked poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate and dithiothreitol with borax as the glucose-sensitive motif. The hydrogel is injectable and mechanically strong after injection. Moreover, it can be rapidly removed by immersion in the cell culture medium. To show the feasibility in building a vascularized tissue construct, the designed branching vascular patterns of the glucose-sensitive hydrogel are extruded and embedded in a non glucose-sensitive hydrogel containing neural stem cells. Vascular endothelial cells seeded in the lumen of the channels by perfusion can line the channel wall and migrate into the non-sacrificial hydrogel after 3 days. In long-term (∼14 days), the endothelial cells form capillary-like structure (vascular network) while neural stem cells form neurosphere-like structure (neural development) in the construct, revealing the morphology of "a vascularized neural tissue". The novel sacrificial materials can create complicated but easily removable structure for building a vascularized tissue construct particularly a neurovascular unit.

KEYWORDS:

Angiogenesis; Glucose sensitivity; Neurovascular unit; Self-healing hydrogel; Vascularization

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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