Hyaluronan scaffolds: A balance between backbone functionalization and bioactivity
Development of biomaterials that provide mechanical and molecular cues for wound healing and regeneration must meet several design parameters. In addition to high biocompatibility, biomaterials should possess suitable porosity as well as the ability to be chemically tailored to control parameters including biodegradability and bioactivity. These characteristics were studied in hyaluronan (HA), a natural polymer found in the body. HA was modified with thiol cross-linking sites to form a stable hydrogel scaffold to examine effects in in vitro cortical cell growth. HA with 20% and 44% thiolation was used to make gels at 0.5%, 0.75%, 1%, and 1.25% (w/v). Results indicate that the bioactivity of the HA after functionalization, as determined by degree of substitution (HA thiolation), has a greater effect on neurite outgrowth than does gel stiffness. The lower substituted HA (20%) promoted greater neurite growth as compared to the higher substituted HA (44%).
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 6, Issue 7, July 2010, Pages 2407–2414