CUED Publications database

Composite hydrogels for nucleus pulposus tissue engineering

Strange, DGT and Oyen, ML (2012) Composite hydrogels for nucleus pulposus tissue engineering. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 11. pp. 16-26. ISSN 1751-6161

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Tissue engineering offers a paradigm shift in the treatment of back pain. Engineered intervertebral discs could replace degenerated tissue and overcome the limitations of current treatments, which substantially alter the biomechanical properties of the spine. The centre of the disc, the nucleus pulposus, is an amorphous gel with a large bound water content and it can resist substantial compressive loads. Due to similarities in their compositions, hydrogels have frequently been considered as substitutes for the nucleus pulposus. However, there has been limited work characterising the time-dependent mechanical behaviour of hydrogel scaffolds for nucleus pulposus tissue engineering. Poroelastic behaviour, which plays a key role in nutrient transport, is of particular importance. Here, we investigate the time-dependent mechanical properties of gelatin and agar hydrogels and of gelatin-agar composites. The time-dependent properties of these hydrogels are explored using viscoelastic and poroelastic frameworks. Several gel formulations demonstrate comparable equilibrium elastic behaviour to the nucleus pulposus under unconfined compression, but permeability values that are much greater than those of the native tissue. A range of time-dependent responses are observed in the composite gels examined, presenting the opportunity for targeted design of custom hydrogels with combinations of mechanical properties optimized for tissue engineering applications. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div C > Biomechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:17
Last Modified: 22 May 2018 07:15