Injectable Macroporous Hydrogel Formed by Enzymatic Cross-Linking of Gelatin Microgels.

Academic Article


  • Injectable hydrogels can be useful tools for facilitating wound healing since they conform to the irregular shapes of wounds, serving as a temporary matrix during the healing process. However, the lack of inherent pore structures of most injectable hydrogels prohibits desired interactions with the cells of the surrounding tissues limiting their clinical efficacy. Here, we introduce a simple, cost-effective and highly biofunctional injectable macroporous hydrogel made of gelatin microgels crosslinked by microbial transglutaminase (mTG). Pores are created by the interstitial space among the microgels. A water-in-oil emulsion technique was used to create gelatin microgels of an average size of 250μm in diameter. When crosslinked with mTG, the microgels adhered to each other to form a bulk hydrogel with inherent pores large enough for cell migration. The viscoelastic properties of the porous hydrogel were similar to those of nonporous gelatin hydrogel made by adding mTG to a homogeneous gelatin solution. The porous hydrogel supported higher cellular proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts (hDFs) than the nonporous hydrogel over two weeks, and allowed the migration of hDFs into the pores. Conversely, the hDFs were unable to permeate the surface of the nonporous hydrogel. To demonstrate its potential use in wound healing, the gelatin microgels were injected with mTG into a cut out section of an excised porcine cornea. Due to the action of mTG, the porous hydrogel stably adhered to the cornea tissue for two weeks. Confocal images showed that a large number of cells from the cornea tissue migrated into the interstitial space of the porous hydrogel. The porous hydrogel was also used for the controlled release of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), increasing the proliferation of hDFs compared to the nonporous hydrogel. This gelatin microgel-based porous hydrogel will be a useful tool for wound healing and tissue engineering.
  • Authors

  • Hou, Shujie
  • Lake, Rachel
  • Park, Shiwha
  • Edwards, Seth
  • Jones, Chante
  • Jeong, Kyung Jae
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 19, 2018
  • Published In

  • ACS Appl Bio Mater  Journal
  • Keywords

  • controlled release
  • gelatin
  • injectable hydrogel
  • mTG
  • microgels
  • porous
  • wound healing
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1430
  • End Page

  • 1439
  • Volume

  • 1
  • Issue

  • 5