One of the current major challenges in orthopedic surgery is the treatment of meniscal lesions. Some of the main issues include mechanical consistency of meniscal implants, besides their fixation methods and integration with the host tissues. To tackle these aspects we realized a micro-porous, gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based hydrogel to approach the high percentage of water present in the native meniscal tissue, recapitulating its biomechanical features, and, at the same time, realizing a porous implant, permissive to cell infiltration and tissue integration. In particular, we adopted aerodynamically-assisted jetting technology to realize sodium alginate micro-particles with controlled dimensions to be used as porogens. The porous hydrogels were realized through freezing-thawing cycles, followed by alginate particles leaching. Composite hydrogels showed a high porosity (74%) and an open porous structure, while preserving the elasticity behavior (E = 0.25 MPa) and high water content, typical of PVA-based hydrogels. The ex vivo animal model validation proved that the addition of gelatin, combined with the micro-porosity of the hydrogel, enhanced implant integration with the host tissue, allowing penetration of host cells within the construct boundaries. Altogether, these results show that the combined use of a water-insoluble micro-porogen and gelatin, as a bioactive agent, allowed the realization of a porous composite PVA-based hydrogel to be envisaged as a potential meniscal substitute.

3D Porous Gelatin/PVA Hydrogel as Meniscus Substitute Using Alginate Micro-Particles as Porogens

Marrella, Alessandra;Lagazzo, Alberto;Dellacasa, Elena;Finocchio, Elisabetta;Barberis, Fabrizio;Pastorino, Laura;Giannoni, Paolo;
2018

Abstract

One of the current major challenges in orthopedic surgery is the treatment of meniscal lesions. Some of the main issues include mechanical consistency of meniscal implants, besides their fixation methods and integration with the host tissues. To tackle these aspects we realized a micro-porous, gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based hydrogel to approach the high percentage of water present in the native meniscal tissue, recapitulating its biomechanical features, and, at the same time, realizing a porous implant, permissive to cell infiltration and tissue integration. In particular, we adopted aerodynamically-assisted jetting technology to realize sodium alginate micro-particles with controlled dimensions to be used as porogens. The porous hydrogels were realized through freezing-thawing cycles, followed by alginate particles leaching. Composite hydrogels showed a high porosity (74%) and an open porous structure, while preserving the elasticity behavior (E = 0.25 MPa) and high water content, typical of PVA-based hydrogels. The ex vivo animal model validation proved that the addition of gelatin, combined with the micro-porosity of the hydrogel, enhanced implant integration with the host tissue, allowing penetration of host cells within the construct boundaries. Altogether, these results show that the combined use of a water-insoluble micro-porogen and gelatin, as a bioactive agent, allowed the realization of a porous composite PVA-based hydrogel to be envisaged as a potential meniscal substitute.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/900482
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