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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2018 Mar;106(3):738-745. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.36275. Epub 2017 Nov 17.

Effect of functionalized PHEMA micro- and nano-particles on the viscoelastic properties of fibrin-agarose biomaterials.

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Tissue Engineering Group, Department of Histology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Granada, Avenida de la Investigación 11, Granada, 18016, Spain.
Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria ibs GRANADA, Granada, Spain.
Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering Group, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), EEBE, Carrer d'Eduard Maristany 10-14, Barcelona, 08930, Spain.
Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, Granada, 18071, Spain.
NanoMyP, Spin-Off Enterprise from University of Granada, Edificio BIC-Granada, Avenida de la Innovación 1, Armilla, Granada, 18016, Spain.
Dental School, University of Granada, Colegio Máximo, Campus de Cartuja s/n, Granada, 18017, Spain.


Two types of PHEMA-based particles, exhibiting either carboxyl or tertiary ammine functional groups, were incorporated to fibrin-agarose (FA) hydrogels, and the effect of the addition of these synthetic particles on the viscoelastic and microstructural properties of the biomaterials was evaluated. Experimental results indicated that the incorporation of both types of polymeric particles to FA scaffolds was able to improve the biomechanical properties of the biomaterials under steady state and oscillatory shear stresses, resulting in scaffolds characterized by higher values of the storage, loss, and shear moduli. In addition, the microstructural evaluation of the scaffolds showed that the nanoparticles exhibiting carboxyl functional groups were homogeneously distributed across the fibrous network of the hydrogels. The addition of both types of artificial polymeric particles was able to enhance the viscoelastic properties of the FA hydrogels, allowing the biomaterials to reach levels of mechanical consistency under shear stresses in the same range of some human native soft tissues, which could allow these biomaterials to be used as scaffolds for new tissue engineering applications.


agarose; fibrin; functionalized particles; hydrogel; scaffold


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