3 years ago

Translation of an injectable triple-interpenetrating-network hydrogel for intervertebral disc regeneration in a goat model

Translation of an injectable triple-interpenetrating-network hydrogel for intervertebral disc regeneration in a goat model
Degeneration of the intervertebral discs is a progressive cascade of cellular, compositional and structural changes that is frequently associated with low back pain. As the first signs of disc degeneration typically arise in the disc’s central nucleus pulposus (NP), augmentation of the NP via hydrogel injection represents a promising strategy to treat early to mid-stage degeneration. The purpose of this study was to establish the translational feasibility of a triple interpenetrating network hydrogel composed of dextran, chitosan, and teleostean (DCT) for augmentation of the degenerative NP in a preclinical goat model. Ex vivo injection of the DCT hydrogel into degenerated goat lumbar motion segments restored range of motion and neutral zone modulus towards physiologic values. To facilitate non-invasive assessment of hydrogel delivery and distribution, zirconia nanoparticles were added to make the hydrogel radiopaque. Importantly, the addition of zirconia did not negatively impact viability or matrix producing capacity of goat mesenchymal stem cells or NP cells seeded within the hydrogel in vitro. In vivo studies demonstrated that the radiopaque DCT hydrogel was successfully delivered to degenerated goat lumbar intervertebral discs, where it was distributed throughout both the NP and annulus fibrosus, and that the hydrogel remained contained within the disc space for two weeks without evidence of extrusion. These results demonstrate the translational potential of this hydrogel for functional regeneration of degenerate intervertebral discs. Statement of Significance The results of this work demonstrate that a radiopaque hydrogel is capable of normalizing the mechanical function of the degenerative disc, is supportive of disc cell and mesenchymal stem cell viability and matrix production, and can be maintained in the disc space without extrusion following intradiscal delivery in a preclinical large animal model. These results support evaluation of this hydrogel as a minimally invasive disc therapeutic in long-term preclinical studies as a precursor to future clinical application in patients with disc degeneration and low back pain.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1742706117304622

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