Thanks to a Merlion grant, Gilles and Laurine spent 2 weeks in Singapore, in Pr. Sing Yian Chew’s lab at the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. This trip was an opportunity to implant sol-gel based hydrogel scaffolds (with a collagen-like peptide) into rats to assess their ability to repair spinal cord injury.
Laurine was selected to give an oral communication in prestigious E-MRS spring meeting held in Strasbourg this June. She presented her work about multifunctional biomimetic hydrogel from Legogel project, funded by ANR, in collaboration with ICGM (A. Mehdi) and IRMB (D. Noël).
As an intermediate state between liquid and solid materials, hydrogels display unique properties, opening a wide scope of applications, especially in the biomedical field. Organic hydrogels are composed of an organic network cross-linked via chemical or physical reticulation nodes. In contrast, hybrid hydrogels are defined by the coexistence of organic and inorganic moieties in water. Inorganic polymerization, i.e. the sol–gel process, is one of the main techniques leading to hybrid hydrogels. The chemoselectivity of this method proceeds through hydrolysis and condensation reactions of metal oxide moieties. In addition, the mild reaction conditions make this process very promising for the preparation of water-containing materials and their bio-applications.
RSC Advances, 2017, Volume: 7, Issue: 20, Pages: 12231-12235, DOI: 10.1039/C6RA28540F
C. Echalier, R. Levato, M. A. Mateos-Timoneda, O. Castano, S. Dejean, X. Garric, C. Pinese, D. Noel, E. Engel, J. Martinez, A. Mehdi, G.Subra
An unprecedented generic system allowing the 3D printing of peptide-functionalized hydrogels by soft sol-gel inorg. polymn. is presented. Hybrid silylated inorg./bioorg. blocks are mixed in biol. buffer in an appropriate ratio, to yield a multicomponent bioink that can be printed as a hydrogel without using any photochem. or org. reagent. Hydrolysis and condensation of the silylated precursors occur during the printing process and result in a covalent network in which mols. are linked through siloxane bonds. The viscosity of the colloidal soln. used as bioink was monitored in order to set up the optimal conditions for extrusion printing. Grid-patterned hydrogel scaffolds contg. a hybrid integrin ligand were printed using a pressure-driven rapid prototyping machine. Finally, they were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells, demonstrating their suitability for cell culture. The versatility of the sol-gel process and its biocompatibility makes this approach highly promising for the prepn. of tailor-made cell-laden scaffolds.