Shear‐thinning hydrogels are useful for biomedical applications, from 3D bioprinting to injectable biomaterials. Although they have the appropriate properties for injection, it may be advantageous to decouple injectability from the controlled release of encapsulated therapeutics. Toward this, composites of hydrogels and encapsulated microgels are introduced with microgels that are fabricated via microfluidics. The microgel cross‐linker controls degradation and entrapped molecule release, and the concentration of microgels alters composite hydrogel rheological properties. For the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI), interleukin‐10 (IL‐10) is encapsulated in microgels and released from composites. In a rat model of MI, composites with IL‐10 reduce macrophage density after 1 week and improve scar thickness, ejection fraction, cardiac output, and the size of vascular structures after 4 weeks when compared to saline injection. Improvements are also observed with the composite without IL‐10 over saline, emphasizing the role of injectable hydrogels alone on tissue repair.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Biomaterials Science
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 2073 to 2083
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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