Injectable Thermosensitive Chitosan-Collagen Hydrogel as A Delivery System for Marine Polysaccharide Fucoidan

Fucoidans, sulfated polysaccharides from brown algae, possess multiple bioactivities in regard to osteogenesis, angiogenesis, and inflammation, all representing key molecular processes for successful bone regeneration. To utilize fucoidans in regenerative medicine, a delivery system is needed which temporarily immobilizes the polysaccharide at the injured site. Hydrogels have become increasingly interesting biomaterials for the support of bone regeneration. Their structural resemblance with the extracellular matrix, their flexible shape, and capacity to deliver bioactive compounds or stem cells into the affected tissue make them promising materials for the support of healing processes. Especially injectable hydrogels stand out due to their minimal invasive application. In the current study, we developed an injectable thermosensitive hydrogel for the delivery of fucoidan based on chitosan, collagen, and β-glycerophosphate (β-GP). Physicochemical parameters such as gelation time, gelation temperature, swelling capacity, pH, and internal microstructure were studied. Further, human bone-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and human outgrowth endothelial cells (OEC) were cultured on top (2D) or inside the hydrogels (3D) to assess the biocompatibility. We found that the sol-gel transition occurred after approximately 1 min at 37 °C. Fucoidan integration into the hydrogel had no or only a minor impact on the mentioned physicochemical parameters compared to hydrogels which did not contain fucoidan. Release assays showed that 60% and 80% of the fucoidan was released from the hydrogel after two and six days, respectively. The hydrogel was biocompatible with MSC and OEC with a limitation for OEC encapsulation. This study demonstrates the potential of thermosensitive chitosan-collagen hydrogels as a delivery system for fucoidan and MSC for the use in regenerative medicine.


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