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Designing of biologically active scaffolds with optimal characteristics is one of the key factors for successful tissue engineering. Recently, hydrogels have received a considerable interest as leading candidates for engineered tissue scaffolds due to their unique compositional and structural similarities to the natural extracellular matrix, in addition to their desirable framework for cellular proliferation and survival. More recently, the ability to control the shape, porosity, surface morphology, and size of hydrogel scaffolds has created new opportunities to overcome various challenges in tissue engineering such as vascularization, tissue architecture and simultaneous seeding of multiple cells. This review provides an overview of the different types of hydrogels, the approaches that can be used to fabricate hydrogel matrices with specific features and the recent applications of hydrogels in tissue engineering. Special attention was given to the various design considerations for an efficient hydrogel scaffold in tissue engineering. Also, the challenges associated with the use of hydrogel scaffolds were described.
Effective antiosteopenia therapy can be achieved by designing long-term protein/peptide drug delivery systems for bone trabecula restoration. Here we show that a complex of salmon calcitonin and oxidized calcium alginate (sCT-OCA) was prepared and loaded into a thermosensitive copolymer hydrogel for long-term antiosteopenia treatment. The triblock copolymer, poly(d,l-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid)-b-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA-PEG-PLGA) exhibited sol–gel transition at body temperature. The sustained release of sCT from the in situ gelling system was determined by both the degradation of the hydrogel and the decomposition of the sCT-OCA complex. This system showed sustained effects in reducing serum calcium and bone trabecula reconstruction in the treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteopenia in rats for approximately 30 days after a single subcutaneous injection, which may shed light on antiosteopenia therapy in the future.
Biomimetic parathyroid regeneration with sustained release of parathyroid hormone (PTH) into the blood stream is a considerable challenge in hypoparathyroidism treatment. We recently reported that tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells (TMSCs), if these cells were both differentiated in vitro before implantation and incorporated into a scaffold Matrigel, are a good cell source for parathyroid regeneration in a parathyroidectomized (PTX) animal model. Here, we present a new strategy for improved clinical application that enhances the sustained release of PTH by controlling mechanical stiffness using in situ-forming gelatin-hydroxyphenyl propionic acid (GH) hydrogels (GHH). Differentiated TMSCs (dTMSCs) embedded in a GHH with a strength of 4.4 kPa exhibited the best sustained release of PTH and were the most effective in hypoparathyroidism treatment, showing improved blood calcium homeostasis compared with Matrigel-embedded dTMSCs. Interestingly, undifferentiated control TMSCs (cTMSCs) also released PTH in a sustained manner if incorporated into GHH. Collectively, these findings may establish a new paradigm for parathyroid regeneration that could ultimately evolve into an improved clinical application.
Periodontitis is the most common cause of tooth loss and bone destruction in adults worldwide. Human periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs) may represent promising new therapeutic biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Stromal precursor antigen-1 (STRO-1) has been shown to have roles in adherence, proliferation, and multipotency. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) has been shown to enhance proliferation in osteoblasts. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to compare the functions of STRO-1(+) and STRO-1(-) hPDLSCs and to investigate the effects of PTH on the osteogenic capacity of STRO-1(+) hPDLSCs in order to evaluate their potential applications in the treatment of periodontitis. Our data showed that STRO-1(+) hPDLSCs expressed higher levels of the PTH-1 receptor (PTH1R) than STRO-1(-) hPDLSCs. In addition, intermittent PTH treatment enhanced the expression of PTH1R and osteogenesis-related genes in STRO-1(+) hPDLSCs. PTH-treated cells also exhibited increased alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization ability. Therefore, STRO-1(+) hPDLSCs represented a more promising cell resource for biomaterials and tissue engineering applications. Intermittent PTH treatment improved the capacity for STRO-1(+) hPDLSCs to repair damaged tissue and ameliorate the symptoms of periodontitis.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) and aging are associated with bone fragility and increased fracture risk. Both (1–37) N- and (107–111) C-terminal parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) exhibit osteogenic properties. We here aimed to evaluate and compare the efficacy of either PTHrP (1–37) or PTHrP (107–111) loaded into gelatin–glutaraldehyde-coated hydroxyapatite (HA–Gel) foams to improve bone repair of a transcortical tibial defect in aging rats with or without DM, induced by streptozotocin injection at birth. Diabetic old rats showed bone structural deterioration compared to their age-matched controls. Histological and µ-computerized tomography studies showed incomplete bone repair at 4 weeks after implantation of unloaded Ha–Gel foams in the transcortical tibial defects, mainly in old rats with DM. However, enhanced defect healing, as shown by an increase of bone volume/tissue volume and trabecular and cortical thickness and decreased trabecular separation, occurred in the presence of either PTHrP peptide in the implants in old rats with or without DM. This was accompanied by newly formed bone tissue around the osteointegrated HA-Gel implant and increased gene expression of osteocalcin and vascular endothelial growth factor (bone formation and angiogenic markers, respectively), and decreased expression of Sost gene, a negative regulator of bone formation, in the healing bone area. Our findings suggest that local delivery of PTHrP (1–37) or PTHrP (107–111) from a degradable implant is an attractive strategy to improve bone regeneration in aged and diabetic subjects.
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