Synthesis of an agarose-gelatin conjugate for use as a tissue engineering scaffold
We synthesized a conjugate in which gelatin was covalently crosslinked to agarose using 1,1-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI) in dimethyl sulfoxide in order to obtain gels with cellular adhesiveness that showed a sol-to-gel transition, but no gel-to-sol transition, around body temperature. The gelatin content of the conjugate increased by 2.7-fold when the concentration of CDI was increased from 1.3 to 32.7 mM. Aqueous solutions of the conjugate gelled upon cooling from 40°C to 20°C, but did not remelt at 37°C. The percentage of adhered cells after 4 h of culture on a gel created from a conjugate containing about 25 wt% gelatin was similar to that for cells grown on tissue culture dishes. The adhered cells proliferated on the conjugate gel during culture for a further 5 d. In addition, the conjugate used in this study did not result in mechanical instability of the resultant gel compared to that of an unmodified agarose gel. These results demonstrate that this agarose-gelatin conjugate is a good candidate material for tissue engineering.
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 103, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 22–26