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

Anti-Microbial Biopolymer Hydrogel Scaffolds for Stem Cell Encapsulation

1
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
2
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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Abstract

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
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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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