In situ forming physical hydrogels for three-dimensional tissue morphogenesis

Yang Liu, Bo Liu, Jeremiah J. Riesberg, Wei Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In situ forming physical hydrogels are formed through a biologically benign reaction between two multi-arm macromers, one containing terminal thiol and the other containing terminal vinyl sulfone groups. One macromer is self-assembled through a coiled-coil domain; and the physical junction of this macromer confers the physical nature to the whole network. Unlike covalently cross-linked hydrogels in which material degradation is a prerequisite for three-dimensional cell movement, these physical hydrogels have junctions that undergo reversible dissociation and re-association, constitutively opening paths for cell movement. Epithelial cells encapsulated in these hydrogels can form hollow spherical cysts without the need for material degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1325-1330
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 10 2011


  • Artificial extracellular matrices
  • Degradation
  • Epithelial morphogenesis
  • Hydrogels
  • Tissue engineering

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