Biomimetic Hydrogels

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 6704

Special Issue Editors

Department of Chemistry, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova University Center, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: scaffold; hydrogels; mucins; immunomodulation; prophylaxis against infection
Institute of Biopharmaceutical and Health Engineering, International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
Interests: biomaterials; nobel metal nanoparticles; conductive polymers; scaffolds; hydrogels and their applications in regenerative medicine; tissue engineering; imaging/sensing
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Department of Biomaterials, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway
Interests: dental implants; bone graft; bone regeneration; titanium; injectable hydrogel for dental application; dental biomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: natural materials; hydrogels; polysaccharides; bioprinting; surface modifications; in vitro models; bacteria–material interactions; virus–biomaterial interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, entitled 'Biomimetic Hydrogels', is devoted to recent advancements in the field of hydrogels which address the challenge of reproducing the chemical, mechanical and physical properties of the physiological environment. The 3D environment accommodates and directs cell behaviour in our body. For example, in our body, cells are embedded in an extracellular matrix (ECM), which is a gel. It is a host for cells and an environment rich in biological cues influencing cell behaviour. On the epithelium, mucin forms a mucus gel that lubricates the moist epithelium and provides protection from irritants and infection. A biomedical approach allows us to synthesise hydrogels that mimic the nature of our bodies and mimic their properties, including mechanical, structural, and compositional factors, alone or in concert, which can dramatically regulate cell behaviour and alter cell function. Over the last three decades, based on advancements in tissue engineering, three-dimensional materials have been developed that approximate neurophysiology to in vivo conditions. Based on advancements in synthetic mucin hydrogels, several mucin-based hydrogels have been developed which mimic the function of natural mucus.

This Special Issue focuses on the design of such biomimetic hydrogels by controlling their synthesis and characterisation, including theoretical and fundamental aspects. Their physicochemical properties can be influenced by the choice of polymer and crosslinking chemistry, among other factors. Many new technologies such as rheology, tribology, diverse microscopy techniques and sensors are needed and developed for the characterisation of hydrogels. These physicochemical properties, together with the biochemical characteristics of hydrogels, are tailored to targeted biomedical applications. The recent development of biomimetic functional hydrogels for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, immunotherapy and infections will be addressed.

Dr. Hongji Yan
Dr. Hongya Geng
Dr. Håvard J. Haugen
Dr. Paola Petrini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bioinspired hydrogels
  • tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • 3D-biomechanical niche
  • vascularization
  • 3D printing and bioprinting
  • immunotherapy
  • characterization of hydrogels

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 2776 KiB  
Article
Developing Biomimetic Hydrogels of the Arterial Wall as a Prothrombotic Substrate for In Vitro Human Thrombosis Models
Gels 2023, 9(6), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9060477 - 10 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Current in vitro thrombosis models utilise simplistic 2D surfaces coated with purified components of the subendothelial matrix. The lack of a realistic humanised model has led to greater study of thrombus formation in in vivo tests in animals. Here we aimed to develop [...] Read more.
Current in vitro thrombosis models utilise simplistic 2D surfaces coated with purified components of the subendothelial matrix. The lack of a realistic humanised model has led to greater study of thrombus formation in in vivo tests in animals. Here we aimed to develop 3D hydrogel-based replicas of the medial and adventitial layers of the human artery to produce a surface that can optimally support thrombus formation under physiological flow conditions. These tissue-engineered medial- (TEML) and adventitial-layer (TEAL) hydrogels were developed by culturing human coronary artery smooth muscle cells and human aortic adventitial fibroblasts within collagen hydrogels, both individually and in co-culture. Platelet aggregation upon these hydrogels was studied using a custom-made parallel flow chamber. When cultured in the presence of ascorbic acid, the medial-layer hydrogels were able to produce sufficient neo-collagen to support effective platelet aggregation under arterial flow conditions. Both TEML and TEAL hydrogels possessed measurable tissue factor activity and could trigger coagulation of platelet-poor plasma in a factor VII-dependent manner. Biomimetic hydrogel replicas of the subendothelial layers of the human artery are effective substrates for a humanised in vitro thrombosis model that could reduce animal experimentation by replacing current in vivo models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Hydrogels)
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13 pages, 5690 KiB  
Article
Portable Quartz Crystal Resonator Sensor for Characterising the Gelation Kinetics and Viscoelastic Properties of Hydrogels
Gels 2022, 8(11), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8110718 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1898
Abstract
Hydrogel biomaterials have found use in various biomedical applications partly due to their biocompatibility and tuneable viscoelastic properties. The ideal rheological properties of hydrogels depend highly on the application and should be considered early in the design process. Rheometry is the most common [...] Read more.
Hydrogel biomaterials have found use in various biomedical applications partly due to their biocompatibility and tuneable viscoelastic properties. The ideal rheological properties of hydrogels depend highly on the application and should be considered early in the design process. Rheometry is the most common method to study the viscoelastic properties of hydrogels. However, rheometers occupy much space and are costly instruments. On the other hand, quartz crystal resonators (QCRs) are devices that can be used as low-cost, small, and accurate sensors to measure the viscoelastic properties of fluids. For this reason, we explore the capabilities of a low-cost and compact QCR sensor to sense and characterise the gelation process of hydrogels while using a low sample amount and by sensing two different crosslink reactions: covalent bonds and divalent ions. The gelation of covalently crosslinked mucin hydrogels and physically crosslinked alginate hydrogels could be monitored using the sensor, clearly distinguishing the effect of several parameters affecting the viscoelastic properties of hydrogels, including crosslinking chemistry, polymer concentrations, and crosslinker concentrations. QCR sensors offer an economical and portable alternative method to characterise changes in a hydrogel material’s viscous properties to contribute to this type of material design, thus providing a novel approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Hydrogels)
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Review

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28 pages, 4330 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Decellularized Matrix-Derived Materials for Bioink and 3D Bioprinting
Gels 2023, 9(3), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9030195 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2618
Abstract
As an emerging 3D printing technology, 3D bioprinting has shown great potential in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Decellularized extracellular matrices (dECM) have recently made significant research strides and have been used to create unique tissue-specific bioink that can mimic biomimetic microenvironments. Combining [...] Read more.
As an emerging 3D printing technology, 3D bioprinting has shown great potential in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Decellularized extracellular matrices (dECM) have recently made significant research strides and have been used to create unique tissue-specific bioink that can mimic biomimetic microenvironments. Combining dECMs with 3D bioprinting may provide a new strategy to prepare biomimetic hydrogels for bioinks and hold the potential to construct tissue analogs in vitro, similar to native tissues. Currently, the dECM has been proven to be one of the fastest growing bioactive printing materials and plays an essential role in cell-based 3D bioprinting. This review introduces the methods of preparing and identifying dECMs and the characteristic requirements of bioink for use in 3D bioprinting. The most recent advances in dECM-derived bioactive printing materials are then thoroughly reviewed by examining their application in the bioprinting of different tissues, such as bone, cartilage, muscle, the heart, the nervous system, and other tissues. Finally, the potential of bioactive printing materials generated from dECM is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Hydrogels)
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