Hyperbranched polyester hydrogels with controlled drug release and cell adhesion properties. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hyperbranched polyesters (HPE) have a high efficiency to encapsulate bioactive agents, including drugs, genes, and proteins, due to their globe-like nanostructure. However, the use of these highly branched polymeric systems for tissue engineering applications has not been broadly investigated. Here, we report synthesis and characterization of photocrosslinkable HPE hydrogels with sustained drug release characteristics for cellular therapies. These HPE can encapsulate hydrophobic drug molecules within the HPE cavities due to the presence of a hydrophobic inner structure that is otherwise difficult to achieve in conventional hydrogels. The functionalization of HPE with photocrosslinkable acrylate moieties renders the formation of hydrogels with a highly porous interconnected structure and mechanically tough network. The compressive modulus of HPE hydrogels was tunable by changing the crosslinking density. The feasibility of using these HPE networks for cellular therapies was investigated by evaluating cell adhesion, spreading, and proliferation on hydrogel surface. Highly crosslinked and mechanically stiff HPE hydrogels have higher cell adhesion, spreading, and proliferation compared to soft and complaint HPE hydrogels. Overall, we showed that hydrogels made from HPE could be used for biomedical applications that require spatial control of cell adhesion and controlled release of hydrophobic clues.

published proceedings

  • Biomacromolecules

altmetric score

  • 3.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, H., Patel, A., Gaharwar, A. K., Mihaila, S. M., Iviglia, G., Mukundan, S., ... Khademhosseini, A.

citation count

  • 100

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Hongbin||Patel, Alpesh||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K||Mihaila, Silvia M||Iviglia, Giorgio||Mukundan, Shilpaa||Bae, Hojae||Yang, Huai||Khademhosseini, Ali

publication date

  • May 2013