Feature Papers in Chemistry and Physics of Biological Gels

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Chemistry and Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 6102

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Guest Editor
Biomimetic Materials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Interests: bioinspired gels; gels for stem cell delivery; self-assembled micelles for growth factor immobilization; models gels to control cell microenvironment; composite materials with structure at multiple length scales; skeletal tissue engineering
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrogels, derived from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of biological tissues, are widely used in wound dressing, cosmetics, drug delivery, personal hygiene, and regenerative medicine. The unqiue physical, mechancial, and biochemical properties of these gels stem from their complex hierarchical structures at different length scales, spanning from the nanoscle, with van der Waals, acid-base, and electrostatic interactions, to the mesoscale, with secondary and tertiary interactions, followed by microscale with fibrillar and fibrous structure formations. The aim of this Special Issue is to elucidate, either computationally by molecular dynamic or mesoscale simulation as well as experimentally, the role of these interactions in the observed macroscale properties at different scales. The scope of this Issue includes peptides, proteins, carbohydrates, nuleic acids, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and proteolipids. Furthermore, discussions should incorporate the measurement and quantification of these interactions and the rules governing their self-assembly and structure formation at different length scales. The properties which should be considered include, among others, degradability, mechanics, rheology, micellization, gelation, surface adsorption, bioadhesion, ligand–receptor interaction, and immune reaction.

Prof. Dr. Esmaiel Jabbari
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • biological gels
  • multiscale structure
  • chemistry and molecular interactions
  • macroscale properties

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 5227 KiB  
Article
Role of Physico-Chemical and Cellular Conditions on the Bone Repair Potential of Plastically Compressed Collagen Hydrogels
by Daline Mbitta Akoa, Ludovic Sicard, Christophe Hélary, Coralie Torrens, Brigitte Baroukh, Anne Poliard and Thibaud Coradin
Gels 2024, 10(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10020130 - 6 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Since their first description nearly 20 years ago, dense collagen hydrogels obtained by plastic compression have become popular scaffolds in tissue engineering. In particular, when seeded with dental pulp stem cells, they have demonstrated a great in vivo potential in cranial bone repair. [...] Read more.
Since their first description nearly 20 years ago, dense collagen hydrogels obtained by plastic compression have become popular scaffolds in tissue engineering. In particular, when seeded with dental pulp stem cells, they have demonstrated a great in vivo potential in cranial bone repair. Here, we investigated how physico-chemical and cell-seeding conditions could influence the formation and in vitro mineralization of these cellularized scaffolds. A qualitative assessment demonstrated that the gel stability before and after compression was highly sensitive to the conditions of fibrillogenesis, especially initial acid acetic and buffer concentrations. Gels with similar rheological properties but different fibrillar structures that exhibited different stabilities when used for the 3D culture of Stem cells from Human Exfoliated Deciduous teeth (SHEDs) could be prepared. Finally, in our optimal physico-chemical conditions, mineralization could be achieved only using human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) at a high cell density. These results highlight the key role of fibrillogenic conditions and cell type/density on the bone repair potential of cell-laden plastically compressed collagen hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemistry and Physics of Biological Gels)
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15 pages, 7004 KiB  
Article
Amphiphilic Low-Molecular-Weight Gelators Bearing β-S-N-Acetylglucosamine Linked to a Tartaric Acid Scaffold: Synthesis, Self-Assembly and Wheat Germ Agglutinin Binding
by Vicente Leafar Peña García, Pablo Héctor Di Chenna and María Laura Uhrig
Gels 2024, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10010005 (registering DOI) - 21 Dec 2023
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Abstract
The self-assembly of carbohydrate-based amphiphiles can lead to colloidal soft materials such as supramolecular gels featuring highly desirable characteristics like biodegradability and biocompatibility. The report herein presents the synthesis, characterization and supramolecular self-assembly, physical gelation and wheat lectin binding of two structurally related [...] Read more.
The self-assembly of carbohydrate-based amphiphiles can lead to colloidal soft materials such as supramolecular gels featuring highly desirable characteristics like biodegradability and biocompatibility. The report herein presents the synthesis, characterization and supramolecular self-assembly, physical gelation and wheat lectin binding of two structurally related amphiphilic compounds having β-S-N-acetylglucosamine residues linked to a 2,3-diacyl-N,N′-dipropargylated-l-tartaric diamide. A 1-thio-β-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine precursor attached to a conveniently functionalized linker with an azido group was synthesized by means of a one-pot procedure followed by deprotection. A click reaction successfully led to the two amphiphiles, which differed in length of the fatty acid attached to the tartaric acid scaffold. Although both compounds are poorly soluble in water and organic solvents, the difference in terms of hydrophilic moieties provided them with distinct supramolecular gelation properties. While the presence of an octadecyl chain produced a hydrogelator, the dodecadecyl homologue would only form weak gels in DMSO. SEM and rheology experiments confirmed the characteristic fibrillar morphology and viscoelastic properties, in agreement with the presence of physical gels. Both amphiphiles were able to interact reversibly with wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a lectin that specifically recognizes GlcNAc residues, indicating a potential use in the food industry, as a gluten sensitivity manager, as well as in health-related industries, for example, for drug delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemistry and Physics of Biological Gels)
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14 pages, 4937 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Effect of Honey-Containing Chitosan/Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels on Wound Healing
by Emine Şalva, Ahmet Enes Akdağ, Saadet Alan, Sema Arısoy and Fatma Jülide Akbuğa
Gels 2023, 9(11), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9110856 - 28 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
The 3D polymeric network structure of hydrogels imitates the extracellular matrix, thereby facilitating cell growth and differentiation. In the current study, chitosan/hyaluronic acid/honey coacervate hydrogels were produced without any chemicals or crosslinking agents and investigated for their wound-healing abilities. Chitosan/hyaluronic acid/honey hydrogels were [...] Read more.
The 3D polymeric network structure of hydrogels imitates the extracellular matrix, thereby facilitating cell growth and differentiation. In the current study, chitosan/hyaluronic acid/honey coacervate hydrogels were produced without any chemicals or crosslinking agents and investigated for their wound-healing abilities. Chitosan/hyaluronic acid/honey hydrogels were characterized by FTIR, SEM, and rheology analysis. Moreover, their water content, water uptake capacities, and porosity were investigated. In FT-IR spectra, it was discovered that the characteristic band placement of chitosan with hyaluronic acid changed upon interacting with honey. The porosity of the honey-containing hydrogels (12%) decreased compared to those without honey (17%). Additionally, the water-uptake capacity of honey-containing hydrogels slightly decreased. Also, it was observed that hydrogels’ viscosity increased with the increased hyaluronic acid amount and decreased with the amount of honey. The adhesion and proliferation of fibroblast cells on the surface of hydrogel formulations were highest in honey-containing hydrogels (144%). In in vivo studies, wound healing was accelerated by honey addition. It has been demonstrated for the first time that honey-loaded chitosan-hyaluronic acid hydrogels, prepared without the use of toxic covalent crosslinkers, have potential for use in wound healing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemistry and Physics of Biological Gels)
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Review

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17 pages, 4967 KiB  
Review
Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Properties of Type I Collagen–Chitosan Mixed Hydrogels: A Review
by Enguerran Devernois and Thibaud Coradin
Gels 2023, 9(7), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9070518 - 26 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2036
Abstract
Type I collagen and chitosan are two of the main biological macromolecules used to design scaffolds for tissue engineering. The former has the benefits of being biocompatible and provides biochemical cues for cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. However, collagen hydrogels usually exhibit poor [...] Read more.
Type I collagen and chitosan are two of the main biological macromolecules used to design scaffolds for tissue engineering. The former has the benefits of being biocompatible and provides biochemical cues for cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. However, collagen hydrogels usually exhibit poor mechanical properties and are difficult to functionalize. Chitosan is also often biocompatible, but is much more versatile in terms of structure and chemistry. Although it does have important biological properties, it is not a good substrate for mammalian cells. Combining of these two biomacromolecules is therefore a strategy of choice for the preparation of interesting biomaterials. The aim of this review is to describe the different protocols available to prepare Type I collagen–chitosan hydrogels for the purpose of presenting their physical and chemical properties and highlighting the benefits of mixed hydrogels over single-macromolecule ones. A critical discussion of the literature is provided to point out the poor understanding of chitosan–type I collagen interactions, in particular due to the lack of systematic studies addressing the effect of chitosan characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemistry and Physics of Biological Gels)
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