Tailoring the properties of polysaccharides-based hydrogels - From cell interactions to biomedical applications

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School of Chemical Technology | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2024-02-16
Degree programme
120 + app. 106
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL THESES, 33/2024
 This thesis focused on developing polysaccharides-based hydrogels designed to closely mimic the properties of the human extracellular matrix (ECM) through innovative 3D biofabrication techniques. While nanocellulose hydrogels have shown promise in the fields of biomedical engineering and regenerative therapy, they face challenges related to poor mechanical properties and limited 3D printing resolution. To overcome these challenges, nanocellulose was combined with heteropolysaccharides (tragacanth gum, xanthan gum, and quince seed mucilage). This strategic combination enhanced the processability of the hydrogels by improving their viscosity and shear-thinning behavior, ensuring smooth extrusion and deposition through the printing nozzle. These hydrogels closely resemble the scaffolds typically used in biomedical applications in terms of their porosity, pore size, and porous structure. Additionally, adjusting the nanocellulose content enabled tailoring the stiffness and swelling of the hydrogel, allowing further optimization according to the specific intended application. Furthermore, the study explored controlled drug delivery, particularly the development of chitosan (CS) hydrogels enriched with the phenolic compound phloroglucinol (PG). These hydrogels exhibited versatility, as they could be prepared with varying porosities and morphologies, resulting in distinct release kinetics. This versatility positions them as suitable biocompatible scaffolds and drug delivery systems, particularly for applications like wound dressing. In addition, the research delved into the molecular-level interactions between biomaterials and living cells using advanced Atomic Force Microscopy-based techniques such as colloidal probe microscopy (CPM), and single-cell force spectroscopy (SCFS). These results revealed insights into cell-biomaterial and cell-cell interactions, shedding light on adhesion protein dependencies and cellular behaviors within different biomaterial environments. In summary, this study advanced polysaccharides-based hydrogels for biomedical applications, combining innovative fabrication strategies with a deep understanding of molecular-level interactions. The findings have the potential to significantly impact biomedical research, paving the way for high-performance functional materials in various biomedical domains.
Supervising professor
Österberg, Monika, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Finland
Thesis advisor
Valle-Delgado, Juan José, Aalto University, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Finland
Morits, Maria, Aalto University, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Finland
cellulose nanofibrils, cellulose nanocrystals, hydrogels, tragacanth gum, quince seed mucilage, xanthan gum, chitosan, 3D printing, force spectroscopy
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Polez, Roberta Teixeira; Morits, Maria; Jonkergouw, Christopher;Phiri, Josphat; Valle-Delgado, Juan José; Linder, Markus B.; Maloney,Thaddeus; Rojas, Orlando J.; Österberg, Monika. Biological activity ofmulticomponent bio-hydrogels loaded with tragacanth gum. InternationalJournal of Biological Macromolecules, 2022, 215, 691–704.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2022.06.153 View at publisher
  • [Publication 2]: Baniasadi, Hossein; Polez, Roberta Teixeira; Kimiaei, Erfan; Madani,Zahraalsadat; Rojas, Orlando J.; Österberg, Monika; Seppälä, Jukka. 3Dprinting and properties of cellulose nanofibrils-reinforced quince seedmucilage bio-inks. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules,2021, 192, 1098–1107.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.10.078 View at publisher
  • [Publication 3]: Baniasadi, Hossein; Kimiaei, Erfan; Polez, Roberta Teixeira; Ajdary,Rubina; Rojas, Orlando J.; Österberg, Monika; Seppälä, Jukka. Highresolution3D printing of Xanthan gum/nanocellulose bio-inks. InternationalJournal of Biological Macromolecules, 2022, 209, 2020–2031.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2022.04.183 View at publisher
  • [Publication 4]: Polez, Roberta Teixeira; Ajiboye, Margaret A.; Österberg, Monika; Horn, Marilia M. Chitosan hydrogels enriched with bioactive phloroglucinol for controlled drug diffusion and advanced wound healing.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2024.130808 View at publisher
  • [Publication 5]: Polez, Roberta Teixeira; Huynh, Ngoc; Pridgeon, Chris S; Valle-Delgado, Juan José; Harjumäki, Riina; Österberg, Monika. Insights into spheroids formation in cellulose nanofibrils and Matrigel hydrogels using AFM-based techniques (Manuscript submitted – under review).