Preliminary Study on the Fabrication of Alginate/Hyaluronic Acid Scaffolds for Spinal Cord Injury Repair
Traumatic spinal cord leads to devastating and permanent loss of neurological function. Artificial tissue engineering scaffolds show potential in spinal cord repair by providing guidance for regrowing axons. In this study, three-dimensional (3D) alginate/hyaluronic acid scaffolds designed for spinal cord repair were fabricated and characterized. Specifically, covalently and ionically crosslinked alginate/hyaluronic acid composite biomaterial was used for Schwann cell culture and for 3D scaffold fabrication and characterization. Carbodiimide mediated amide formation of composite biomaterial was examined in presence of ionic crosslinking and was found to be dependent on the concentrations of carbodiimide and calcium chloride and on the pH value of the reaction. The double-crosslinked composite hydrogels were biocompatible, allowing for Schwann cell survival and growth. No significant difference in cell number was found on the composite hydrogels with varying concentrations of alginate and hyaluronic acid used in this study. The results also indicated that covalent crosslinking and high concentration of hyaluronic acid were not favorable for Schwann cell growth. Finally, 3D porous scaffolds were successfully fabricated using two systems of the dispensing-based rapid prototyping technique. Effects of the fluid behavior, initial needle height, and concentration of calcium chloride were studied. Uniaxial compression mechanical test showed that the concentration of hyaluronic acid had little effect on the mechanical properties of the hydrogels, and that ionically crosslinked composite hydrogels had a similar viscoelastic compressive behavior as native spinal cord and had Young’s moduli favorable for neurite outgrowth. This information provides a basis for continuing in vitro and in vivo tests of the ability of rapid prototyped alginate/hyaluronic acid hydrogel scaffolds to support regeneration of traumatic spinal cord.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorChen, Daniel X.B.; Schreyer, David J.
CommitteeZhang, Chris W.J.; Badea, Ildiko
Copyright DateAugust 2012
Spinal cord injuries