Self-crosslinkable hydrogels had been formulated from two precursors, partially oxidized hyaluronan (oHA) and gelatin. The physicochemical properties of the resulting hydrogels have been elucidated by instrumental analyses (FTIR, SEM, and rheometry). These hydrogels were highly porous with an average pore size of 60 μm, and evidently, accommodative to cell infiltration. Increasing the oxidation degree of oHA resulted in corresponding increases in hydrogels' storage moduli and decreases in water uptake. Dermal fibroblasts were used to study the cell-hydrogel interactions in vitro. Both the hydrogels and their degradation byproducts are biocompatible as indicated by long-term cell viability assay. In addition, significant amount of cells migrated into the hydrogels and they aligned into highly organized arrays. When cultured with cells, the hydrogels underwent degradation within 4 weeks depending on composition with obvious loss of cohesiveness over time. The good biocompatibility and biodegradability of oHA/gelatin hydrogel were further demonstrated in mice subdermal implantations. Lastly, in vitro and in vivo depositions of extracellular matrix in hydrogels by cells were demonstrated by SEM analyses.
- Oxidized hyaluronan
- Self crosslinkable
- Three-dimensional cell distribution