Article: article from journal or magazin.
Combined Electrostatic and Covalent Polymer Networks for Cell Microencapsulation
Two types of hydrogel microspheres have been developed. Fast ionotropic gelation of sodium alginate (Na-alg) in the presence of calcium ions was combined with slow covalent cross-linking of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) derivatives. For the first type, the fast obtainable Ca-alg hydrogel served as spherical matrix for the simultaneously occurring covalent cross-linking of multi-arm PEG derivative. A two-component interpenetrating network was formed in one step upon extruding the mixture of the two polymers into the gelation bath. For the second type, heterobifunctional PEG was grafted onto Na-alg prior to gelation. Upon extrusion of the polymer solution into the gelation bath, fast Ca-alg formation ensured the spherical shape and was accompanied by cross-linker-free covalent cross-linking of the PEG side chains. Thus, one-component hydrogel microspheres resulted. We present the physical properties of the hydrogel microspheres and demonstrate the feasibility of cell microencapsulation for both types of polymer networks.
Biocompatibility, biomaterials, hydrogels, interpenetrating networks, microencapsulation
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