Genipin-cross linked Chitosan Hydrogels as Scaffolds for Mammalian Cell Growth
While hydrogels can take many forms, covalently crosslinked structures are favoured when enhanced stability and increased mechanical properties are required. One element of particular relevance to covalently crosslinked hydrogel structures is the crosslinking agent involved in the scaffold formation, where at present, non-toxic options are limited. Recent advances in research suggest that genipin is a beneficial crosslinking agent to consider. When such hydrogels are intended as scaffolds for mammalian cells in tissue engineering applications, further consideration must be given to biocompatibility, porosity and pore interconnection, so that appropriate cell activity within the bulk of the scaffold is achieved. Therefore, in this work, the viability of genipin-crosslinked chitosan-polyvinylpyrrolidone hydrogels for culturing non-differentiated adult mesenchymal stem cells is studied. Cell viability was observed through fluorescent microscopy and cell number assessed using the MTT assay. Results confirmed that these hydrogels are benign to studied cells. Furthermore, it was shown that cell proliferation propagates beneath the gel surface via interconnected pores within the hydrogels.
Keywords - Biomaterials, cell growth, chitosan, genipin, hydrogels, polyvinylpyrrolidone