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Insight into halloysite nanotubes-loaded gellan gum hydrogels for soft tissue engineering applications

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Piergiorgio GentileORCiD, Dr Ana Ferreira-DuarteORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


A tri-component hydrogel, based on gellan gum (GG), glycerol (Gly) and halloysite nanotubes (HNT), is proposed in this work for soft tissue engineering applications. The FDA-approved GG polysaccharide has been recently exploited as biomaterial because its biomimetic features. Gly is added as molecular spacer to improve hydrogel viscosity and mechanical properties. HNT incorporation within the hydrogel offers the versatility to improve the GG-Gly biocompatibility with potential incorporation of target biomolecules. In this work, hydrogels with different composition ratios are physically crosslinked for tuning physico-mechanical properties. An accurate physico-chemical characterization is reported. HNT addition leads to a water uptake decrease of 30-35% and tuneable mechanical properties with a compressive Young’s modulus ranging between 20 and 75kPa. Finally, in vitro study with human fibroblasts on GG-Gly hydrogels loaded with 25% HNT offered the higher metabolic activities and cell survival up to 7 days of incubation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bonifacio MA, Gentile PG, Ferreira AM, Cometa S, Giglio ED

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Carbohydrate Polymers

Year: 2017

Volume: 163

Pages: 280-291

Print publication date: 01/05/2017

Online publication date: 20/01/2017

Acceptance date: 17/01/2017

Date deposited: 18/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0144-8617

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1344

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.01.064

Notes: Highlights: • A new tri-component gel based on gellan gum, glycerol and halloysite is proposed. • The nanocomposite hydrogel has tuneable mechanical and biocompatible features. • The physico-chemical characterization reveals the gel morphology and composition. • The developed hydrogel is suitable for soft tissue engineering applications.


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