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Functionalisation of a heat-derived and bio-inert albumin hydrogel with extracellular matrix by air plasma treatment.

Scientific reports (2020-07-28)
John Ong, Junzhe Zhao, Galit Katarivas Levy, James Macdonald, Alexander W Justin, Athina E Markaki
ABSTRACT

Albumin-based hydrogels are increasingly attractive in tissue engineering because they provide a xeno-free, biocompatible and potentially patient-specific platform for tissue engineering and drug delivery. The majority of research on albumin hydrogels has focused on bovine serum albumin (BSA), leaving human serum albumin (HSA) comparatively understudied. Different gelation methods are usually employed for HSA and BSA, and variations in the amino acid sequences of HSA and BSA exist; these account for differences in the hydrogel properties. Heat-induced gelation of aqueous HSA is the easiest method of synthesizing HSA hydrogels however hydrogel opacity and poor cell attachment limit their usefulness in downstream applications. Here, a solution to this problem is presented. Stable and translucent HSA hydrogels were created by controlled thermal gelation and the addition of sodium chloride. The resulting bio-inert hydrogel was then subjected to air plasma treatment which functionalised its surface, enabling the attachment of basement membrane matrix (Geltrex). In vitro survival and proliferation studies of foetal human osteoblasts subsequently demonstrated good biocompatibility of functionalised albumin hydrogels compared to untreated samples. Thus, air plasma treatment enables functionalisation of inert heat-derived HSA hydrogels with extracellular matrix proteins and these may be used as a xeno-free platform for biomedical research or cell therapy.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Triton X-100, laboratory grade
Sigma-Aldrich
Phalloidin, Fluorescein Isothiocyanate Labeled, sequence Amanita phalloides(synthetic: peptide sequence)
Sigma-Aldrich
Sodium chloride, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture, suitable for insect cell culture, suitable for plant cell culture, ≥99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Monoclonal Anti-Vinculin antibody produced in mouse, clone hVIN-1, ascites fluid
Sigma-Aldrich
Bovine Serum Albumin, lyophilized powder, ≥96% (agarose gel electrophoresis)
Sigma-Aldrich
Dulbecco′s Phosphate Buffered Saline, Modified, without calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, liquid, sterile-filtered, suitable for cell culture
Sigma-Aldrich
Albumin from human serum, lyophilized powder, ≥96% (agarose gel electrophoresis)
Sigma-Aldrich
TWEEN® 20, Low-peroxide; Low-carbonyls
Sigma-Aldrich
Formaldehyde solution, ACS reagent, 37 wt. % in H2O, contains 10-15% Methanol as stabilizer (to prevent polymerization)