Peptide-modified "smart" hydrogels and genetically engineered stem cells for skeletal tissue engineering

Shai Garty*, Nadav Kimelman-Bleich, Zvi Hayouka, Daniel Cohn, Assaf Friedler, Gadi Pelled, Dan Gazit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Stimuli responsive or "smart" hydrogels are of interest for tissue-engineering applications, featuring the advantages of minimally invasive application. Currently, these materials have yet to be used as a biological replacement in restoring the function of damaged tissues or organs. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the advantages of thermoresponsive, peptide-containing hydrogels as a supportive matrix for genetically engineered stem cells. We used injectable hydrogels, enabling cell delivery to the desired site and providing adequate scaffolding postimplantation. Thermoresponsive hydrogels were developed based on amphiphilic block copolymers of polyethylene-oxide and polypropylene-oxide end-capped with methacrylate or maleimide entities and further reacted with RGD-containing peptides. Cell metabolic activity and survival within those hydrogels was studied, illustrating that the stable peptide-polymer conjugate is required for prolonged cell support. The unique polymer characteristics, combined with its enhanced cell interactions, suggest the potential use of these biomaterials in various tissue engineering applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1516-1526
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2010


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