Injectable hydrogels are useful for numerous biomedical applications, such as to introduce therapeutics into tissues or for 3D printing. To expand the complexity of available injectable hydrogels, shear‐thinning and self‐healing granular hydrogels are developed from microgels that interact via guest–host chemistry. The microgel properties (e.g., degradation, molecule release) are tailored through their crosslinking chemistry, including degradation in response to proteases. When microgels of varied formulations are mixed, complex release and degradation behaviors are observed, including after injection to permit cellular invasion.
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.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Macromolecular Bioscience
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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