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Gelatin methacrylate-alginate hydrogel with tunable viscoelastic properties

1 Essen Bioscience Inc. 300 W Morgan Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA
2 Draper Laboratory: 555 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
3 Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse University, 900 S Crouse Ave, Syracuse NY 13210 USA

Topical Section: Biological and biomimetic materials

Although native extracellular matrix (ECM) is viscoelastic, synthetic biomaterials used in biomedical engineering to mimic ECM typically exhibit a purely elastic response when an external strain is applied. In an effort to truly understand how living cells interact with surrounding ECM matrix, new biomaterials with tunable viscoelastic properties continue to be developed. Here we report the synthesis and mechanical characterization of a gelatin methacrylate-alginate (Gel-Alg) composite hydrogel. Results obtained from creep and compressive tests reveal that the alginate component of Gel-Alg composite, can be effectively crosslinked, un-crosslinked and re-crosslinked by adding or chelating Ca2+ ions. This work demonstrates that Gel-Alg is capable of tuning its viscoelastic strain and elastic recovery properties, and can be potentially used to design ECM-mimicking hydrogels.
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Copyright Info: © 2017, Yong X. Chen, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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