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Synthesis of bioinspired collagen/alginate/fibrin based hydrogels for soft tissue engineering

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ria Toumpaniari, Dr Alexey Popov, Dr Michael Duan, Dr Jinju Chen, Professor Kenneth Dalgarno, Dr Bill ScottORCiD, Dr Ana Ferreira-DuarteORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Hydrogels based on natural polymers offer a range of properties to mimic the native extracellular matrix, and provide microenvironments to preserve cellular function and encourage tissue formation. A tri-component hydrogel using collagen, alginate and fibrin (CAF) was developed and investigated at three collagen concentrations for application as a functional extracellular matrix analogue. Physical-chemical characterisation of CAF hydrogels demonstrated a thermo-responsive crosslinking capacity at physiological conditions with stiffness similar to native soft tissues. CAF hydrogels were also assessed for cytocompatibility using L929 murine fibroblasts, pancreatic MIN6 β-cells and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs); and demonstrated good cell viability, proliferation and metabolic activity after 7 days of in vitro culture. CAF hydrogels, especially with 2.5% w/v collagen, increased alkaline phosphatase production in hMSCs indicating potential for the promotion of osteogenic activity. Moreover, CAF hydrogels also increased metabolic activity of MIN6 β-cells and promoted the reconstitution of spherical pseudoislets with sizes ranging between 50-150 μm at day 7, demonstrating potential in diabetic therapeutic applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Montalbano G, Toumpaniari S, Popov A, Duan P, Chen J, Dalgarno K, Scott III WE, Ferreira AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Materials Science & Engineering: C

Year: 2018

Volume: 91

Pages: 236-246

Print publication date: 01/10/2018

Online publication date: 17/05/2018

Acceptance date: 28/04/2018

Date deposited: 02/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0928-4931

ISSN (electronic): 1873-0191

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.msec.2018.04.101


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Funder referenceFunder name
Arthritis Research UK Tissue Engineering Centre (Award 19429).