Hydrogel scaffolds have attracted much interest in the last few years for applications in the field of bone and cartilage tissue engineering. These scaffolds serve as a convenient three-dimensional structure on which cells can grow while sensing the native environment. Natural polymer-based hydrogels are an interesting choice for such purposes, but they lack the required mechanical properties. In contrast, composite hydrogels formed by biopolymers and short peptide hydrogelators possess mechanical characteristics suitable for osteogenesis. Here, we describe how combining the short peptide hydrogelator, Pyrene-Lysine-Cysteine (PyKC), with other biopolymers, can produce materials that are suitable for tissue engineering purposes. The presence of PyKC considerably enhances the strength and water content of the composite hydrogels, and confers thixotropic behavior. The hyaluronic acid-PyKC composite hydrogels were shown to be biocompatible, with the ability to support osteogenesis, since MC3 T3-E1 osteoblast progenitor cells grown on the materials displayed matrix calcification and osteogenic differentiation. The osteogenesis results and the injectability of these composite hydrogels hold promise for their future utilization in tissue engineering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- !!Pharmaceutical Science