Supramolecular Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel Fibers for Translational Tissue Engineering Applications

Author: ORCID icon
Miller, Beverly, Chemical Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Caliari, Steven, EN-Chem Engr Dept, University of Virginia

Tissue engineering has emerged as an impactful multidisciplinary field harnessing the expertise of medicine, biology, and engineering to create various tools for fabricating tissue-like constructs. However, when it comes to fibrous tissue injuries, such as volumetric muscle loss (VML) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP), current tissue engineering treatment strategies fail to restore the structural or functional properties required for adequate repair. There is tremendous demand to produce biomaterials, namely hydrogels, capable of mimicking the structure and function of the native tissue microenvironment of fibrous tissues. Hydrogels offer many advantages including biodegradability, easy processing, and minimally invasive delivery along with controllable structural properties that enhance material similarity to the ECM. While there have been significant advancements in the design of hydrogel biomaterials for tissue engineering, there is an unmet need to develop mechanically robust hydrogels mimicking the nanofibrous tissue topography of skeletal muscle, tendon, and ligamental tissue types. To address this need, we have designed a fibrous hydrogel with supramolecular shear-thinning and self-healing mechanical properties that enable injectability for the augmentation of tissue repair following POP and VML injuries.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
hydrogel, uterosacral ligaments, injectable, tissue engineering
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