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Open AccessCommunication
Polymers 2017, 9(4), 149; doi:10.3390/polym9040149

Anti-Microbial Biopolymer Hydrogel Scaffolds for Stem Cell Encapsulation

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Biomedical Engineering-FB40, W.J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science-FB41, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
University of Groningen, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Felix H. Schacher
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers and Block Copolymers at Interfaces and Surfaces)
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Biopolymer hydrogels are an attractive class of materials for wound dressings and other biomedical applications because of their ease of use and availability from biomass. Here, we present a hydrogel formation approach based on alginate and chitosan. Alginate is conventionally cross-linked using multivalent ions such as Ca2+ but in principle any polycationic species can be used such as polyelectrolytes. Exchanging the cross-linking Ca2+ ions partially with chitosan, which at pH 7 has available positive charges as well as good interactions with Ca2+, leads to an improved Young’s modulus. This gel is non-toxic to mammalian cells and hence allows conveniently for stem cell encapsulation since it is based on two-component mixing and gel formation. Additionally, the chitosan is known to have a bactericidal effect which is retained when using it in the alginate–chitosan gel formation and the formed hydrogels displayed bactericidal effects against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. The combination of anti-bacterial properties, inclusion of stem cells, and the hydrogel nature would provide an ideal environment for complex wound healing. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; alginate; chitosan; stem cell scaffold; anti-microbial hydrogel; alginate; chitosan; stem cell scaffold; anti-microbial

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kühn, P.T.; Rozenbaum, R.T.; Perrels, E.; Sharma, P.K.; van Rijn, P. Anti-Microbial Biopolymer Hydrogel Scaffolds for Stem Cell Encapsulation. Polymers 2017, 9, 149.

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