Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Tuning stiffness of cell-laden hydrogel via host–guest interactions

July 25, 2016

Chien-Chi Lin and Han Shih report a dynamic hydrogel system with on-demand tunable matrix stiffness. The hydrogels are formed by thiol–allylether photo-click reaction using thiolated poly(vinyl alcohol) (TPVA), 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-allylether (PEG4AE), and mono-functional β-cyclodextrin-allylether (βCDAE). Adamantane-functionalized 4-arm PEG (PEG4AD) is used to stiffen hydrogels, whereas unmodified βCD is used to induce gel softening. The stiffening and softening processes are fully reversible and these hydrogels are ideal for investigating the effect of matrix mechanics on cell fate processes.

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