Catalyst-Free Click Chemistry for Engineering Chondroitin Sulfate-Multiarmed PEG Hydrogels for Skin Tissue Engineering

J Funct Biomater. 2022 Apr 18;13(2):45. doi: 10.3390/jfb13020045.


The quest for an ideal biomaterial perfectly matching the microenvironment of the surrounding tissues and cells is an endless challenge within biomedical research, in addition to integrating this with a facile and sustainable technology for its preparation. Engineering hydrogels through click chemistry would promote the sustainable invention of tailor-made hydrogels. Herein, we disclose a versatile and facile catalyst-free click chemistry for the generation of an innovative hydrogel by combining chondroitin sulfate (CS) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Various multi-armed PEG-Norbornene (A-PEG-N) with different molecular sizes were investigated to generate crosslinked copolymers with tunable rheological and mechanical properties. The crosslinked and mechanically stable porous hydrogels could be generated by simply mixing the two clickable Tetrazine-CS (TCS) and A-PEG-N components, generating a self-standing hydrogel within minutes. The leading candidate (TCS-8A-PEG-N (40 kD)), based on the mechanical and biocompatibility results, was further employed as a scaffold to improve wound closure and blood flow in vivo. The hydrogel demonstrated not only enhanced blood perfusion and an increased number of blood vessels, but also desirable fibrous matrix orientation and normal collagen deposition. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of the hydrogel to improve wound repair and hold promise for in situ skin tissue engineering applications.

PMID:35466227 | PMC:PMC9036249 | DOI:10.3390/jfb13020045


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