by Keyword: Cryogel

Martínez-Blanco Á, Noé S, Carreras-Vidal L, Otero J, Gavara N, (2023). Cryosectioning of Hydrogels as a Reliable Approach to Increase Yield and Further Tune Mechanical Properties Gels 9, 834

Decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) hydrogels have emerged as promising materials in tissue engineering. The steps to produce dECM hydrogels containing the bioactive epitopes found in the native matrix are often laborious, including the initial harvesting and decellularization of the animal organ. Furthermore, resulting hydrogels often exhibit weak mechanical properties that require the use of additional crosslinkers such as genipin to truly simulate the mechanical properties of the desired study tissue. In this work, we have developed a protocol to readily obtain tens of thin dECM hydrogel cryosections attached to a glass slide as support, to serve as scaffolds for two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) cell culture. Following extensive atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based mechanical characterization of dECM hydrogels crosslinked with increasing genipin concentrations (5 mM, 10 mM, and 20 mM), we provide detailed protocol recommendations for achieving dECM hydrogels of any biologically relevant stiffness. Given that our protocol requires hydrogel freezing, we also confirm that the approach taken can be further used to increase the mechanical properties of the scaffold in a controlled manner exhibiting twice the stiffness in highly crosslinked arrays. Finally, we explored the effect of ethanol-based short- and long-term sterilization on dECM hydrogels, showing that in some situations it may give rise to significant changes in hydrogel mechanical properties that need to be taken into account in experimental design. The hydrogel cryosections produced were shown to be biocompatible and support cell attachment and spreading for at least 72 h in culture. In brief, our proposed method may provide several advantages for tissue engineering: (1) easy availability and reduction in preparation time, (2) increase in the total hydrogel volume eventually used for experiments being able to obtain 15-22 slides from a 250 µL hydrogel) with a (3) reduction in scaffold variability (only a 17.5 ± 9.5% intraslide variability provided by the method), and (4) compatibility with live-cell imaging techniques or further cell characterization of cells.

JTD Keywords: atomic force microscopy, cryogel, cryosectioning, decellularization, extracellular matrix, genipin, sterilization, stiffness, young's modulus, Atomic force microscopy, Cryogel, Cryosectioning, Decellularization, Extracellular matrix, Genipin, Hydrogel, Sterilization, Stiffness, Young’s modulus

Rodriguez-Comas, J, Velasco-Mallorqui, F, Ramon-Azcon, J, (2022). CELLULOSE-BASED SCAFFOLDS ENHANCE PSEUDOISLETS FORMATION AND FUNCTIONALITY (Abstract 2021) Tissue Engineering Part a 28, S573-S573

The limitations of obtaining pancreatic islets from differentsources as animal models or human donors complicate the study oftype 2 diabetes (T2D) in vitro. Immortalized cell lines as the in-sulin-producing INS1Eb-cells appeared as a valid alternative tomodel insulin-related diseases. The formation of 3D structures topromote cell aggregations from single cells is a handy tool togenerate resemblance islet-like pseudoislets. Traditionally usedhydrogel encapsulation methods induce a lack of nutrient and ox-ygen diffusion for pancreatic tissue engineering. Here, we usecryogelation technology to develop a more resemblance scaffoldwith the mechanical and physical properties needed to engineerpancreatic tissue. This study shows that carboxymethyl cellulose(CMC) cryogels prompted cells to generateb-cell clusters. Thehigh porosity achieved with this approach allowed us to createspecific range pseudoislets. However, gelatin-based scaffolds didnot induce this cell organization. Pseudoislets formed within CMC-scaffolds showed cell viability for up to 7 days and responded betterto the glucose over conventional monolayer cultures. Overall, ourresults demonstrate that CMC-scaffolds can be used to control theorganization and function of insulin-producingb-cells, represent-ing a suitable technique to generateb-cell clusters to study pan-creatic islet function.

JTD Keywords: Cellulose, Cryogel, Diabetes

Velasco-Mallorqui, F, Rodriguez-Comas, J, Ramon-Azcon, J, (2021). Cellulose-based scaffolds enhance pseudoislets formation and functionality Biofabrication 13, 35044

In vitro research for the study of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is frequently limited by the availability of a functional model for islets of Langerhans. To overcome the limitations of obtaining pancreatic islets from different sources, such as animal models or human donors, immortalized cell lines as the insulin-producing INS1E beta-cells have appeared as a valid alternative to model insulin-related diseases. However, immortalized cell lines are mainly used in flat surfaces or monolayer distributions, not resembling the spheroid-like architecture of the pancreatic islets. To generate islet-like structures, the use of scaffolds appeared as a valid tool to promote cell aggregations. Traditionally-used hydrogel encapsulation methods do not accomplish all the requisites for pancreatic tissue engineering, as its poor nutrient and oxygen diffusion induces cell death. Here, we use cryogelation technology to develop a more resemblance scaffold with the mechanical and physical properties needed to engineer pancreatic tissue. This study shows that carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) cryogels prompted cells to generate beta-cell clusters in comparison to gelatin-based scaffolds, that did not induce this cell organization. Moreover, the high porosity achieved with CMC cryogels allowed us to create specific range pseudoislets. Pseudoislets formed within CMC-scaffolds showed cell viability for up to 7 d and a better response to glucose over conventional monolayer cultures. Overall, our results demonstrate that CMC-scaffolds can be used to control the organization and function of insulin-producing beta-cells, representing a suitable technique to generate beta-cell clusters to study pancreatic islet function.

JTD Keywords: biomaterial, cryogel, pancreatic islets, scaffold, tissue engineering, ?-cell, Architecture, Beta-cell, Beta-cell heterogeneity, Biomaterial, Carboxymethyl cellulose, Cell culture, Cell death, Cell engineering, Cell organization, Cells, Cellulose, Cryogel, Cryogels, Cytoarchitecture, Delivery, Encapsulation methods, Gelation, Gene-expression, Immortalized cells, Insulin, Insulin secretory responses, Islets of langerhans, Mechanical and physical properties, Monolayer culture, Monolayers, Pancreatic islets, Pancreatic tissue, Pancreatic-islets, Proliferation, Scaffold, Scaffolds, Scaffolds (biology), Size, Tissue, Tissue engineering, Β-cell