Characterization of photo-cross-linked oli[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering

Mahrokh Dadsetan, Jan P. Szatkowski, Michael J. Yaszemski, Linchun Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Photo-cross-linkable oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) hydrogels have been developed for use in tissue engineering applications. We demonstrated that compressive modulus of these hydrogels increased with increasing polymer concentration, and hydrogels with different mechanical properties were formed by altering the ratio of cross-linker/ploymer in precursor solution. Conversely, swelling of hydrogels decreased with increasing polymer concentration and cross-linker/polymer ratio. These hydrogels are degradable and degradation rates vary with the change in cross-linking level. Chondrocyte attachment was quantified as a method for evaluating adhesion of cells to the hydrogels. These data revealed that cross-linking density affects cell behavior on the hydrogel surfaces. Cell attachment was greater on the samples with increased cross-linking density. Chondrocytes on these samples exhibited spread morphology with distinct actin stress fibers, whereas they maintained their rounded morphology on the samples with lower cross-linking density. Moreover, chondrocytes were photo-encapsulated within various hydrogel networks. Our results revealed that cells encapsulated within 2-mm thick OPF hydrogel disks remained viable throughout the 3-week culture period, with no difference in viability across the thickness of hydrogels. Photoencapsulated chondrocytes expressed the mRNA of type II collagen and produced cartilaginous matrix within the hydrogel constructs after three weeks. These findings suggest that photo-cross-linkable OPF hydrogels may be useful for cartilage tissue engineering and cell delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1702-1709
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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