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Title: Nanostructured PEG-based hydrogels with tunable physical properties for gene delivery to human mesenchymal stem cells
Authors: Li, Y.
Yang, C.
Khan, M.
Liu, S.
Hedrick, J.L.
Yang, Y.-Y.
Ee, P.L.R. 
Keywords: Gene delivery
Human mesenchymal stem cells
PEG hydrogels
Issue Date: Sep-2012
Citation: Li, Y., Yang, C., Khan, M., Liu, S., Hedrick, J.L., Yang, Y.-Y., Ee, P.L.R. (2012-09). Nanostructured PEG-based hydrogels with tunable physical properties for gene delivery to human mesenchymal stem cells. Biomaterials 33 (27) : 6533-6541. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Effective delivery of DNA to direct cell behavior in a well defined three dimensional scaffold offers a superior approach in tissue engineering. In this study, we synthesized biodegradable nanostructured hydrogels with tunable physical properties for cell and gene delivery. The hydrogels were formed via Michael addition chemistry by reacting a four-arm acrylate-terminated PEG with a four-arm thiol-functionalized PEG. Nanosized micelles self-assembled from the amphiphilic PEG-b-polycarbonate diblock copolymer, having reactive end-groups, were chemically incorporated into the hydrogel networks at various contents. The use of Michael addition chemistry allows for in situ hydrogel formation under the physiological conditions. Mechanical property analysis of the hydrogels revealed a correlation between the content of micelles and the storage modulus of the hydrogels. Internal morphology of hydrogels was observed using a field emission scanning electron microscope, which showed that the number and/or size of the pores in the hydrogel increased with increasing micelle content due to reduced crosslinking degree. There exists an optimal micelle content for cell proliferation and gene transfection. MTT assays demonstrated the highest cell viability in the hydrogel with 20% micelles. The gene expression level in hMSCs in the hydrogel with 20% micelles was also significantly higher than that in the hydrogel without micelles. The enhanced cell viability and gene expression in the hydrogel with the optimized micelle content are likely attributed to the physical properties that provide a better environment for cell-matrix interactions. Therefore, incorporating micelles into the hydrogel is a good strategy to control cellular behavior in 3-D through changes in physical properties of the microenvironment. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Biomaterials
ISSN: 01429612
DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.05.043
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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