Tunable hydrogel-microsphere composites that modulate local inflammation and collagen bulking
Injectable biomaterials alone may alter local tissue responses, including inflammatory cascades and matrix production (e.g. stimulatory dermal fillers are used as volumizing agents that induce collagen production). To expand upon the available material compositions and timing of presentation, a tunable hyaluronic acid (HA) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microsphere composite system was formulated and assessed in subcutaneous and cardiac tissues. HA functionalized with hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HeMA) was used as a precursor to injectable and degradable hydrogels that carry PLGA microspheres (∼50 μm diameter) to tissues, where the HA hydrogel degradation (∼20 or 70 days) and quantity of PLGA microspheres (0–300 mg ml−1) are readily varied. When implanted subcutaneously, faster hydrogel degradation and more microspheres (e.g. 75 mg ml−1) generally induced more rapid tissue and cellular interactions and a greater macrophage response. In cardiac applications, tissue bulking may be useful to alter stress profiles and to stabilize the tissue after infarction, limiting left ventricular (LV) remodeling. When fast degrading HeMA–HA hydrogels containing 75 mg ml−1 microspheres were injected into infarcted tissue in sheep, LV dilation was limited and the thickness of the myocardial wall and the presence of vessels in the apical infarct region were increased ∼35 and ∼60%, respectively, compared to empty hydrogels. Both groups decreased volume changes and infarct areas at 8 weeks, compared to untreated controls. This work illustrates the importance of material design in expanding the application of tissue bulking composites to a range of biomedical applications.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 8, Issue 9, September 2012, Pages 3218–3227