Angiogenic potential of gellan-gum-based hydrogels for application in nucleus pulposus regeneration: in vivo study.
ABSTRACT Hydrogels for nucleus pulposus (NP) regeneration should be able to comprise a nonangiogenic or even antiangiogenic feature. Gellan gum (GG)-based hydrogels have been reported to possess adequate properties for being used as NP substitutes in acellular and cellular strategies, due to its ability to support cell encapsulation, adequate mechanical properties, and noncytotoxicity. In this study, the angiogenic response of GG-based hydrogels was investigated by performing the chorioallantoic membrane assay. The convergence of macroscopic blood vessels toward the GG, ionic-crosslinked methacrylated GG (iGG-MA), and photo-crosslinked methacrylated GG (phGG-MA) hydrogel discs was quantified. Gelatin sponge (GSp) and filter paper (FP) alone and with vascular endothelial growth factor were used as controls of angiogenesis. The images obtained were digitally processed and analyzed by three independent observers. The macroscopic blood vessel quantification demonstrated that the GG-based hydrogels are not angiogenic as compared with FP controls. No statistical differences between the GG-based hydrogels tested in respect to its angiogenic ability were observed. Hematoxylin and eosin staining and SNA-lectin immunohistochemistry assay indicated that the iGG-MA and phGG-MA hydrogels do not allow the ingrowth of chick endothelial cells, following 4 days of implantation. On the contrary, GG, GSp, and FP controls allowed cell infiltration. The histological data also indicated that the GG-based hydrogels do not elicit any acute inflammatory response. The results showed that the GG, iGG-MA, and phGG-MA hydrogels present different permeability to cells but functioned as a physical barrier for vascular invasion. These hydrogels present promising and tunable properties for being used as NP substitutes in the treatment of degenerative intervertebral disc.
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ABSTRACT: Since their introduction almost a century ago, chick embryo model systems involving the technique of chorioallantoic grafting have proved invaluable in the in vivo studies of tumor development and angiogenesis and tumor cell dissemination. The ability of the chick embryo's chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) to efficiently support the growth of inoculated xenogenic tumor cells greatly facilitates analysis of human tumor cell metastasis. During spontaneous metastasis, the highly vascularized CAM sustains rapid tumor formation within several days following cell grafting. The dense capillary network of the CAM also serves as a repository of aggressive tumor cells that escaped from the primary tumor and intravasated into the host vasculature. This spontaneous metastasis setting provides a unique experimental model to study in vivo the intravasation step of the metastatic cascade. During experimental metastasis when tumor cells are inoculated intravenously, the CAM capillary system serves as a place for initial arrest and then, for tumor cell extravasation and colonization. The tissue composition and accessibility of the CAM for experimental interventions makes chick embryo CAM systems attractive models to follow the fate and visualize microscopically the behavior of grafted tumor cells in both spontaneous and experimental metastasis settings.Histochemie 01/2009; 130(6):1119-30. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gellan gum is a polysaccharide manufactured by microbial fermentation of the Sphingomonas paucimobilis microorganism, being commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. It can be dissolved in water, and when heated and mixed with mono or divalent cations, forms a gel upon lowering the temperature under mild conditions. In this work, gellan gum hydrogels were analyzed as cells supports in the context of cartilage regeneration. Gellan gum hydrogel discs were characterized in terms of mechanical and structural properties. Transmissionelectron microscopy revealed a quite homogeneous chain arrangement within the hydrogels matrix, and dynamic mechanical analysis allowed to characterize the hydrogels discs viscoelastic properties upon compression solicitation, being the compressive storage and loss modulus of approximately 40 kPa and 3 kPa, respectively, at a frequency of 1 Hz. Rheological measurements determined the sol-gel transition started to occur at approximately 36 degrees C, exhibiting a gelation time of approximately 11 s. Evaluation of the gellan gum hydrogels biological performance was performed using a standard MTS cytotoxicity test, which showed that the leachables released are not deleterious to the cells and hence were noncytotoxic. Gellan gum hydrogels were afterwards used to encapsulate human nasal chondrocytes (1 x 10(6) cells/mL) and culture them for total periods of 2 weeks. Cells viability was confirmed using confocal calcein AM staining. Histological observations revealed normal chondrocytes morphology and the obtained data supports the claim that this new biomaterial has the potential to serve as a cell support in the field of cartilage regeneration.Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 09/2009; 93(3):852-63. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is a significant health concern in the USA. Tissue engineering strategies have the potential to provide a viable alternative to current treatments. Nevertheless, such approaches require a suitable biomaterial scaffold for IVD tissue regeneration. Calcium crosslinked alginate has traditionally been used for in vitro culture of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells of the IVD. However, such ionically crosslinked hydrogels lose structural integrity over time. Recently, various polymers have been modified with photopolymerizable functional groups to create covalently crosslinked hydrogels. This technology may be employed to maintain the structural and mechanical integrity of three-dimensional alginate hydrogels. In this study, photocrosslinkable alginate was synthesized and evaluated for material properties and the ability to maintain the viability of encapsulated NP cells. Photocrosslinked alginate at varying percent modifications and weight/volume percentages displayed equilibrium swelling ratios and Young's moduli of 30.52 +/- 1.782 to 43.50 +/- 1.345 and 0.5850 +/- 0.1701 to 8.824 +/- 0.6014 kPa, respectively. The viability of encapsulated NP cells was highest in hydrogels at lower percent modifications, and decreased with time in culture. Taken together, this study is the first to demonstrate that photocrosslinked alginate can be used for cellular encapsulation and synthesized with tunable material properties that may be tailored for specific applications.Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 10/2008; 91(1):187-94. · 2.83 Impact Factor