Rgd-Modified Gelatin-N-Isopropylacrylamide Copolymers as Injectable Cell Scaffolds for Retinal Tissue Engineering Applications

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Rapid progress in biomaterial science has greatly contributed to the fabrication of a variety of tissue-engineered replacements. Traditionally, direct injection of isolated cell suspensions into the body site has been used for repopulation of the damaged tissue, but the transplantation method has a major drawback such as difficult control of the distribution and size of cell grafts. Although biomaterial scaffold can act as a template for guiding cell organization, the delivery of cell-polymer constructs is more invasive than cell injection. It appears that the thermo-responsive and biodegradable polymers can combine the merits of both materials, facilitating the design of new injectable dosage forms for effective cell delivery. Inflammation and neovascularization has been associated with the dysfunction of retinal pigment epithelium due to age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. This project aims to address the drawbacks of existing intraocular cell delivery systems by developing RGD-modified gelatin-N-isopropylacrylamide (GN) copolymers containing insulin-loaded poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles (insulin-loaded PLGA NPs) as injectable scaffolds for retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) regenerative medicine. In the first year, a study will be performed on the preparation, characterization, and biocompatibility assessment of biomaterial carriers. The next year will focus on the investigation of cellular structure and function of RPE grafts and drug biodistribution. In the final year of the study, the tissue reconstruction in a rabbit model will be examined after intraocular grafting of cells using RGD-modified GN copolymer hydrogels containing insulin-loaded PLGA NPs. It is expected that the proposed delivery system in this project will be beneficial in helping people who are experiencing vision loss.

Project IDs

Project ID:PB10007-0369
External Project ID:NSC100-2221-E182-015
Effective start/end date01/08/1131/07/12


  • gelatin
  • N-isopropylacrylamide
  • poly(lactide-co-glycolide)
  • insulin
  • injectable cell scaffolds
  • retinal tissue engineering


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