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Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 6;10(1):3523. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11511-3.

Microporous methacrylated glycol chitosan-montmorillonite nanocomposite hydrogel for bone tissue engineering.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510515, China. zhongkaicui@smu.edu.cn.
2
Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, University of California Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. zhongkaicui@smu.edu.cn.
3
Department of Bioengineering, University of California Los Angeles, 420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
4
Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, University of California Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
5
Division of Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
6
Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, University of California Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. leemin@ucla.edu.
7
Department of Bioengineering, University of California Los Angeles, 420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA. leemin@ucla.edu.

Abstract

Injectable hydrogels can fill irregular defects and promote in situ tissue regrowth and regeneration. The ability of directing stem cell differentiation in a three-dimensional microenvironment for bone regeneration remains a challenge. In this study, we successfully nanoengineer an interconnected microporous networked photocrosslinkable chitosan in situ-forming hydrogel by introducing two-dimensional nanoclay particles with intercalation chemistry. The presence of the nanosilicates increases the Young's modulus and stalls the degradation rate of the resulting hydrogels. We demonstrate that the reinforced hydrogels promote the proliferation as well as the attachment and induced the differentiation of encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells in vitro. Furthermore, we explore the effects of nanoengineered hydrogels in vivo with the critical-sized mouse calvarial defect model. Our results confirm that chitosan-montmorillonite hydrogels are able to recruit native cells and promote calvarial healing without delivery of additional therapeutic agents or stem cells, indicating their tissue engineering potential.

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