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Porous Agarose-Based Semi-IPN Hydrogels: Characterization and Cell Affinity Studies

2012-01-01
Vardar, E.
Vert, Michel
Coudane, Jean
Hasırcı, Vasıf Nejat
Hasırcı, Nesrin
Hydrogels are frequently considered for medical applications due to the ease of preparation in different forms and high water content that makes them comparable to natural tissues. However, these general properties are not sufficient to make any hydrogel suitable for cell attachment and growth which are necessary for their use in tissue regeneration. Besides, the high water content makes the hydrogels mechanically weak. The formation of semi-interpenetrating networks (semi-IPNs) can be used in attempts to enhance physical, mechanical and thermal properties. In this study, semi-IPNs of agarose were prepared with chitosan and alginate, two polyelectrolytes that are positively and negatively charged under physiological conditions, respectively. Zeta potential was used to confirm the formation of charged hydrogels. All hydrogels had ultimate compression strengths in the range of 91-210 Pa where the value for pure agarose was about 103 Pa. Chitosan increased the compressive strength about two folds whereas the alginate had opposite effects. The amount of strongly bound water present in the hydrogels were estimated from TGA and DSC analysis and the highest value was found for alginate-agarose hydrogels as about 15%. The attachment and the migration of L929 fibroblasts were monitored in vitro using the MTS assay and confocal microscopy. The highest cell proliferation and penetration were observed for positively charged chitosan-agarose semi-IPN hydrogels. (C) Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011