Gradient nanocomposite hydrogels for interface tissue engineering
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Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials are an emerging class of materials with unique physical and chemical properties due to their high surface area and disc-like shape. Recently, these 2D nanomaterials have been investigated for a range of biomedical applications including tissue engineering, therapeutic delivery and bioimaging, due to their ability to physically reinforce polymeric networks. Here, we present a facile fabrication of a gradient scaffold with two natural polymers (gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) and methacrylated kappa carrageenan (MκCA)) reinforced with 2D nanosilicates to mimic the native tissue interface. The addition of nanosilicates results in shear-thinning characteristics of prepolymer solution and increases the mechanical stiffness of crosslinked gradient structure. A gradient in mechanical properties, microstructures and cell adhesion characteristics was obtained using a microengineered flow channel. The gradient structure can be used to understand cell-matrix interactions and to design gradient scaffolds for mimicking tissue interfaces.
author list (cited authors)
Cross, L. M., Shah, K., Palani, S., Peak, C. W., & Gaharwar, A. K.