Effect of charge and molecular weight on the functionality of gelatin carriers for corneal endothelial cell therapy

Jui Yang Lai, Pei Lin Lu, Ko Hua Chen, Yasuhiko Tabata, Ging Ho Hsiue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cell transplantation strategies usually involve the use of supporting carrier materials because of the soft and fragile nature of these grafts. In this work, a cell-adhesive gelatin hydrogel carrier was fabricated to deliver cultivated human corneal endothelial cell (HCEC sheets, which were harvested from thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)-grafted culture surfaces. The carrier disks, consisting of gelatins with a different isoelectric point (IEP = 5.0 and 9.0) and a molecular weight (MW) ranging from 3 to 100 kDa, were subjected to 16.6 kGy gamma irradiation for sterilization. The effect of IEP and MW of the raw gelatins (i.e., before irradiation) on the functionality of sterilized disks was studied by determinations of mechanical property, water content, dissolution degree, and cytocompatibility. Irrespective of the IEP of raw gelatin, hydrogel disks prepared with high MW (100 kDa) exhibited a greater tensile strength, lower water content, and slower dissolution rate than those made of low MW gelatin (8 and 3 kDa). From the investigation of cellular responses to the disks, the negatively charged gelatin (IEP = 5.0) groups were more cytocompatible when compared with their positively charged counterparts (IEP = 9.0) at the same MW (100 kDa). Additionally, in the negatively charged gelatin groups, only a slight increase in pro-inflammatory cytokine expression was observed with increasing MW of gelatin from 3 to 100 kDa. It is concluded that the gamma- sterilized hydrogel disks made from raw gelatins (IEP = 5.0, MW = 100 kDa) with appropriate dissolution degree and acceptable cytocompatibility are capable of providing stable mechanical support, making these carriers promising candidates for intraocular delivery of cultivated HCEC sheets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1836-1844
Number of pages9
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 06 2006
Externally publishedYes

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