Hydrogels with magnetic nanoparticles and fluorescent component
Pagan, Camila M.
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The goal of this project is to develop a vehicle for a therapy treatment that increases stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration in bone defects. Tissue engineering has been viewed as a better strategy to repair bone defects because the patient’s own tissue can be used to complete the regeneration process. Current strategies look to increase blood vessel regeneration within defects to accelerate the repair process. The proposed mechanism can be achieved by increasing vascularization and successfully integrating a short term treatment that enhances biological repair in tissue and non-healing bone defects. The vehicle is a poly-(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogel with iron-oxide nanoparticles and incorporated adhesive peptide (RGD) to serve as a cellular matrix that responds to external magnetic forces. These forces promote mechanical signals that are translated into biological responses that will theoretically increase vascularization and cell growth. The 3D displacement of nanoparticles within the hydrogel matrix was measured. The effect of different magnetic field strengths, emitted by external permanent magnets, on the gel deformation was tested. Results showed a direct correlation between hydrogel deformation and the magnitude of external magnetic forces applied to the hydrogel. Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) have successfully been integrated within the hydrogel matrix and are predicted to sense mechanical forces and to increase the rate at which they make networks for vascularization.