Chemical hydrogels based on a hyaluronic acid-graft-α-elastin derivative as potential scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Research paper by Fabio Salvatore FS Palumbo, Giovanna G Pitarresi, Calogero C Fiorica, Salvatrice S Rigogliuso, Giulio G Ghersi, Gaetano G Giammona

Indexed on: 30 Apr '13Published on: 30 Apr '13Published in: Materials Science and Engineering: C


In this work hyaluronic acid (HA) functionalized with ethylenediamine (EDA) has been employed to graft α-elastin. In particular a HA-EDA derivative bearing 50 mol% of pendant amino groups has been successfully employed to produce the copolymer HA-EDA-g-α-elastin containing 32% w/w of protein. After grafting with α-elastin, remaining free amino groups reacted with ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (EGDGE) for producing chemical hydrogels, proposed as scaffolds for tissue engineering. Swelling degree, resistance to chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis, as well as preliminary biological properties of HA-EDA-g-α-elastin/EGDGE scaffold have been evaluated and compared with a HA-EDA/EGDGE scaffold. The presence of α-elastin grafted to HA-EDA improves attachment, viability and proliferation of primary rat dermal fibroblasts and human umbilical artery smooth muscle cells. Biological performance of HA-EDA-g-α-elastin/EGDGE scaffold resulted comparable to that of a commercial collagen type I sponge (Antema®), chosen as a positive control.