Chondrogenic potential of macroporous biodegradable cryogels based on synthetic poly(alpha-amino acids)

Sedlacik T., Acar O. K. , Studenovska H., Kotelnikov I., Kucka J., Konecna Z., ...More

SOFT MATTER, vol.14, no.2, pp.228-238, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1039/c7sm02074k
  • Journal Name: SOFT MATTER
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.228-238


In this study, the potential of highly porous hydrogels based on biodegradable synthetic poly(alpha-amino acids) to support proliferation and chondrogenesis of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) was investigated. Covalently crosslinked gels with permanent pores were formed under cryogenic conditions by free-radical copolymerization of poly[N-5-(2-hydroxyethyl)-L-glutamine-stat-N-5-(2-methacryloyl-oxy-ethyl)- L-glutamine] (PHEG-MA) with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and N-propargyl methacrylamide (PrMAAm) as minor co-monomers. PrMAAm provided alkyne groups for modifying the gels with cell-supporting moieties (RGDS peptides) by the azide-alkyne "click"-reaction. Two types of gels with different compressive moduli were prepared. Each type was modified with two different concentrations of RGDS peptide. X-ray computed nanotomography (nanoCT) was used to visualize and analyze the 3D-structure of the cryogels. It was shown that modifying the PHEG-MA cryogels within the range of RGDS concentrations examined here had a positive effect on the proliferation of hDPSCs. Immunofluorescence staining for collagen type 2 and aggrecan proved that there was differentiation of hDPSCs into chondrocytes.