Hydrogels are three-dimensional (3D) cross-linked networks that swell in water and can be used as scaffold for seeding cells and growth factors into tissues such as cartilage defects.
Hydrogels mimic normal extracellular matrix
They contain water-loving large molecules (polymers) that swell in aqueous solution. The gel can provide an appropriate microenvironment to facilitate the migration, adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of chondrocytes and osteoprogenitor cells to osteoblasts, and efficiently deliver nutrients and growth factors where they are needed for tissue regeneration.
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Development of hydrogels for regenerative engineering. Guan X, Avci-Adali M, Alarçin E, Cheng H, Kashaf SS, Li Y, Chawla A, Jang HL and Khademhosseini A. Biotechnol J. 2017 May; 12(5): 10.1002/biot.201600394.
A Practical Guide to Hydrogels for Cell Culture. Caliari SR and Burdick JA. Nat Methods. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Feb 6.
Hydrogels for Advanced Stem Cell Therapies: A Biomimetic Materials Approach for Enhancing Natural Tissue Function. Farhat W, Hasan A, Lucia L, Becquart F, Ayoub A and Kobeissy F. IEEE Rev Biomed Eng. 2019;12:333-351. doi: 10.1109/RBME.2018.2824335. Epub 2018 Apr 12.
Injectable hydrogels for cartilage and bone tissue engineering. Liu, M Zeng X, Ma C, Yi H, Ali Z, Mou X, Li S, Deng Y and He N. Bone Research volume 5, Article number: 17014 (2017).