5 years ago

Cell-instructive pectin hydrogels crosslinked via thiol-norbornene photo-click chemistry for skin tissue engineering

Cell-instructive pectin hydrogels crosslinked via thiol-norbornene photo-click chemistry for skin tissue engineering
Cell-instructive hydrogels are attractive for skin repair and regeneration, serving as interactive matrices to promote cell adhesion, cell-driven remodeling and de novo deposition of extracellular matrix components. This paper describes the synthesis and photocrosslinking of cell-instructive pectin hydrogels using cell-degradable peptide crosslinkers and integrin-specific adhesive ligands. Protease-degradable hydrogels obtained by photoinitiated thiol-norbornene click chemistry are rapidly formed in the presence of dermal fibroblasts, exhibit tunable properties and are capable of modulating the behavior of embedded cells, including the cell spreading, hydrogel contraction and secretion of matrix metalloproteases. Keratinocytes seeded on top of fibroblast-loaded hydrogels are able to adhere and form a compact and dense layer of epidermis, mimicking the architecture of the native skin. Thiol-ene photocrosslinkable pectin hydrogels support the in vitro formation of full-thickness skin and are thus a highly promising platform for skin tissue engineering applications, including wound healing and in vitro testing models. Significance Photopolymerizable hydrogels are attractive for skin applications due to its unique spatiotemporal control over the hydrogel formation. This study reports the design of a promising photo-clickable pectin hydrogel which biophysical and biochemical properties can be independently tailored to control cell behavior. A fast method for the norbornene-functionalization of pectin was developed and hydrogels fabricated through UV photoinitiated thiol-norbornene chemistry. This one-pot click reaction was performed in the presence of cells using cell-adhesive and matrix metalloproteinase-sensitive peptides, yielding hydrogels that support extensive cell spreading. Keratinocytes seeded on top of the fibroblast-loaded hydrogel formed a compact epidermis with morphological resemblance to human skin. This work presents a new protease-degradable hydrogel that supports in vitro skin formation with potential for skin tissue engineering.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1742706117307006

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