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Article

Dynamic Mechanical Control of Alginate-Fibronectin Hydrogels with Dual Crosslinking: Covalent and Ionic

1
Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment, University of Glasgow, 72-76 Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow G12 8LT, UK
2
Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (CBIT), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
3
Julius Wolff Institute & Centre for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany
4
Biomedical Research Networking Centre in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), 46022 Valencia, Spain
5
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Biomaterials, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jose-Ramon Sarasua
Polymers 2021, 13(3), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030433
Received: 24 November 2020 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 23 January 2021 / Published: 29 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications)
Alginate is a polysaccharide used extensively in biomedical applications due to its biocompatibility and suitability for hydrogel fabrication using mild reaction chemistries. Though alginate has commonly been crosslinked using divalent cations, covalent crosslinking chemistries have also been developed. Hydrogels with tuneable mechanical properties are required for many biomedical applications to mimic the stiffness of different tissues. Here, we present a strategy to engineer alginate hydrogels with tuneable mechanical properties by covalent crosslinking of a norbornene-modified alginate using ultraviolet (UV)-initiated thiol-ene chemistry. We also demonstrate that the system can be functionalised with cues such as full-length fibronectin and protease-degradable sequences. Finally, we take advantage of alginate’s ability to be crosslinked covalently and ionically to design dual crosslinked constructs enabling dynamic control of mechanical properties, with gels that undergo cycles of stiffening–softening by adding and quenching calcium cations. Overall, we present a versatile hydrogel with tuneable and dynamic mechanical properties, and incorporate cell-interactive features such as cell-mediated protease-induced degradability and full-length proteins, which may find applications in a variety of biomedical contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: alginate hydrogel; fibronectin; enzymatic degradation; dual crosslinking; covalent and ionic crosslinking; dynamic mechanical properties alginate hydrogel; fibronectin; enzymatic degradation; dual crosslinking; covalent and ionic crosslinking; dynamic mechanical properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Trujillo, S.; Seow, M.; Lueckgen, A.; Salmeron-Sanchez, M.; Cipitria, A. Dynamic Mechanical Control of Alginate-Fibronectin Hydrogels with Dual Crosslinking: Covalent and Ionic. Polymers 2021, 13, 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030433

AMA Style

Trujillo S, Seow M, Lueckgen A, Salmeron-Sanchez M, Cipitria A. Dynamic Mechanical Control of Alginate-Fibronectin Hydrogels with Dual Crosslinking: Covalent and Ionic. Polymers. 2021; 13(3):433. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030433

Chicago/Turabian Style

Trujillo, Sara, Melanie Seow, Aline Lueckgen, Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez, and Amaia Cipitria. 2021. "Dynamic Mechanical Control of Alginate-Fibronectin Hydrogels with Dual Crosslinking: Covalent and Ionic" Polymers 13, no. 3: 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030433

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