Michael-type crosslinking reactions are very mild – neutral pH and ambient temperature – perfect for encapsulating living cells.
Enzymatic crosslinking is the way in which our blood clots during wound healing – cells secrete an enzyme, transglutaminase, which crosslinks fibrin, forming an insoluble protein polymer, or clot. By using this enzyme, along with the appropriate functional groups, hydrogels can be crosslinked in much the same way.
This blog will aim to discuss guidelines and herein provide recommendations regarding (1) standardised terminology and units, (2) information to be included in describing the capabilities and performance as well as methods used for the commercial electrospinning equipment with a focus on melt electrospinning.
Although it’s instantly recognized from the food industry, gelatine is used in a wide variety of applications – from photography to food to pharmaceuticals to tissue engineering & regenerative medicine.
Some of the earliest hydrogels used for cell encapsulation were, (not ironically) naturally derived, ionically crosslinked materials, such as alginate, chitin and agarose. Although somewhat low-tech, these were a natural place to start.
Most people are familiar with Jell-O or jelly desserts – probably the most widely used and well known hydrogel ever used. Jell-O is made by dissolving gelatin, a protein polymer produced from collagen, in warm water.