Comprehensive Examination of Mechanical and Diffusional Effects on Cell Behavior Using a Decoupled 3D Hydrogel System
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- Comprehensive Examination of Mechanical and Diffusional Effects on Cell Behavior Using a Decoupled 3D Hydrogel System
- Kim, Suntae; Sim, Sung Bo; Lee, Kangseok; Cha, Chaenyung
- 3D cell culture; cell viability; diffusion; hydrogel; mechanics
- Issue Date
- WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH
- MACROMOLECULAR BIOSCIENCE, v.17, no.9, pp.1700162 -
- Hydrogels possess several physical and chemical properties suitable for engineering cellular environments for biomedical applications. Despite recent advances in hydrogel systems for cell culture, it is still a significant challenge to independently control the mechanical and diffusional properties of hydrogels, both of which are well known to influence various cell behaviors when using hydrogels as 3D cell culture systems. Controlling the crosslinking density of a hydrogel system to tune the mechanical properties inevitably affects their diffusional properties, as the crosslinking density and diffusion are often inversely correlated. In this study, a polymeric crosslinker is demonstrated that allows for the adjustment of the degree of substitution of reactive functional groups. By using this polymeric crosslinker, the rigidity of the resulting hydrogel is controlled in a wide range without changing the polymer concentration. Furthermore, their diffusional properties, as characterized by their swelling ratios, pore diameters, and drug release rates, are not significantly affected by the changes in the degree of substitution. 3D cell studies using this hydrogel system successfully demonstrate the varying effects of mechanical properties on different cell types, whereas those in a conventional hydrogel system are more significantly influenced by changes in diffusional properties.
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