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Antibacterial effectiveness meets improved mechanical properties: Manuka Honey/Gellan Gum composite hydrogels for cartilage repair

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).


Biomaterials for cartilage repair are still far from clinical requirements, even if several studies recently focused on this topic. In this respect, Nature-derived hydrogels are a promising class of scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering, mimicking the native cellular microenvironment. However, they frequently lack mechanical features required for cartilage applications and are commonly subjected to infection threat. This work describes the innovative use of Manuka honey as molecular spacer for preparing gellan gum-based composites with intrinsic antibacterial properties and superior compressive Young’s modulus in respect of several Nature-derived gels based on chitosan, hyaluronic acid or alginate. The addition of Manuka honey made hydrogels able to inhibit the proliferation of S. aureus and S. epidermidis clinical isolates. Furthermore, no cytotoxic effects were detected on human mesenchymal stem cells seeded on the hydrogels. Moreover, chondrogenesis experiments showed a consistent expression of collagen II and high synthesis of GAGs and proteoglycans, thus indicating the formation of cartilage matrix. Overall, these data suggest that the developed smart composites have a great potential as tools for cartilage tissue engineering

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bonifacio MA, Cometa S, Cochis A, Gentile P, Ferreira AM, Azzimonti B, Procino G, Ceci E, Rimondini L, DeGiglio E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Carbohydrate Polymers

Year: 2018

Volume: 198

Pages: 462–472

Print publication date: 15/10/2018

Online publication date: 28/06/2018

Acceptance date: 01/01/2018

Date deposited: 30/07/2018

ISSN (print): 0144-8617

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1344

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.06.115


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