Hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate (meth)acrylate-based hydrogels for tissue engineering: Synthesis, characteristics and pre-clinical evaluation

Schuurmans, Carl.C.L., Mihajlovic, Marko, Hiemstra, Christine, Ito, Keita, Hennink, Wim E. & Vermonden, Tina

Published: January 2021


Hydrogels based on photocrosslinkable Hyaluronic Acid Methacrylate (HAMA) and Chondroitin Sulfate Methacrylate (CSMA) are presently under investigation for tissue engineering applications. HAMA and CSMA gels offer tunable characteristics such as tailorable mechanical properties, swelling characteristics, and enzymatic degradability. This review gives an overview of the scientific literature published regarding the pre-clinical development of covalently crosslinked hydrogels that (partially) are based on HAMA and/or CSMA. Throughout the review, recommendations for the next steps in clinical translation of hydrogels based on HAMA or CSMA are made and potential pitfalls are defined. Specifically, a myriad of different synthetic routes to obtain polymerizable hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate derivatives are described. The effects of important parameters such as degree of (meth)acrylation and molecular weight of the synthesized polymers on the formed hydrogels are discussed and useful analytical techniques for their characterization are summarized. Furthermore, the characteristics of the formed hydrogels including their enzymatic degradability are discussed. Finally, a summary of several recent applications of these hydrogels in applied fields such as cartilage and cardiac regeneration and advanced tissue modelling is presented.

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