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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092481

Modified Methacrylate Hydrogels Improve Tissue Repair after Spinal Cord Injury

1
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Vídeňská 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Department of Neurosurgery, J. E. Purkinje University, Masaryk Hospital, Sociální Péče 12A, 401 13 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Heyrovského nám.2, 162 06 Praha, Czech Republic
4
Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, V Úvalu 84, 150 06 Prague, Czech Republic
5
Department of Neuroscience, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, V Úvalu 84, 150 06 Prague, Czech Republic
6
Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, J. E. Purkyně University, České Mládeže 8, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Strategies to Spinal Cord Injury)
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Abstract

Methacrylate hydrogels have been extensively used as bridging scaffolds in experimental spinal cord injury (SCI) research. As synthetic materials, they can be modified, which leads to improved bridging of the lesion. Fibronectin, a glycoprotein of the extracellular matrix produced by reactive astrocytes after SCI, is known to promote cell adhesion. We implanted 3 methacrylate hydrogels: a scaffold based on hydroxypropylmethacrylamid (HPMA), 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA) and a HEMA hydrogel with an attached fibronectin (HEMA-Fn) in an experimental model of acute SCI in rats. The animals underwent functional evaluation once a week and the spinal cords were histologically assessed 3 months after hydrogel implantation. We found that both the HPMA and the HEMA-Fn hydrogel scaffolds lead to partial sensory improvement compared to control animals and animals treated with plain HEMA scaffold. The HPMA scaffold showed an increased connective tissue infiltration compared to plain HEMA hydrogels. There was a tendency towards connective tissue infiltration and higher blood vessel ingrowth in the HEMA-Fn scaffold. HPMA hydrogels showed a significantly increased axonal ingrowth compared to HEMA-Fn and plain HEMA; while there were some neurofilaments in the peripheral as well as the central region of the HEMA-Fn scaffold, no neurofilaments were found in plain HEMA hydrogels. In conclusion, HPMA hydrogel as well as the HEMA-Fn scaffold showed better bridging qualities compared to the plain HEMA hydrogel, which resulted in very limited partial sensory improvement. View Full-Text
Keywords: spinal cord injury; hydrogel; connective tissue; neurofilaments; locomotor test; plantar test spinal cord injury; hydrogel; connective tissue; neurofilaments; locomotor test; plantar test
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Hejčl, A.; Růžička, J.; Kekulová, K.; Svobodová, B.; Proks, V.; Macková, H.; Jiránková, K.; Kárová, K.; Machová Urdziková, L.; Kubinová, Š.; Cihlář, J.; Horák, D.; Jendelová, P. Modified Methacrylate Hydrogels Improve Tissue Repair after Spinal Cord Injury. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2481.

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