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Tyramine-conjugated alginate hydrogels as a platform for bioactive scaffolds

: Schulz, André; Gepp, Michael; Stracke, Frank; Briesen, Hagen von; Neubauer, Julia; Zimmermann, Heiko

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5151646 (528 KByte PDF)
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Created on: 16.10.2018

Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A 107 (2019), No.1, pp.114-121
ISSN: 1549-3296
ISSN: 0021-9304
ISSN: 1552-4965
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Alginate‐based hydrogels represent promising microenvironments for cell culture and tissue engineering, as their mechanical and porous characteristics are adjustable toward in vivo conditions. However, alginate scaffolds are bioinert and thus inhibit cellular interactions. To overcome this disadvantage, bioactive alginate surfaces were produced by conjugating tyramine molecules to high‐molecular‐weight alginates using the carbodiimide chemistry. Structural elucidation using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and contact angle measurements revealed a surface chemistry and wettability of tyramine‐alginate hydrogels similar to standard cell culture treated polystyrene. In contrast to stiff cell culture plastic, tyramine‐alginate scaffolds were found to be soft (60–80 kPa), meeting the elastic moduli of human tissues such as liver and heart. We further demonstrated an enhanced protein adsorption with increasing tyramine conjugation, stable for several weeks. Cell culture studies with human mesenchymal stem cells and human pluripotent stem cell‐derived cardiomyocytes qualified tyramine‐alginate hydrogels as bioactive platforms enabling cell adhesion and contraction on (structured) 2‐D layer and spherical matrices. Due to the alginate functionalization with tyramines, stable cell–matrix interactions were observed beneficial for an implementation in biology, biotechnology, and medicine toward efficient cell culture and tissue substitutes.