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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 161749, 20 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/161749
Review Article

Poly(amidoamine) Hydrogels as Scaffolds for Cell Culturing and Conduits for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

Department of Industrial and Organic Chemistry, The University of Milan, Via Venezian 21, 20133 Milan, Italy

Received 6 June 2011; Revised 27 July 2011; Accepted 27 July 2011

Academic Editor: Shanfeng Wang

Copyright © 2011 Fabio Fenili et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Biodegradable and biocompatible poly(amidoamine)-(PAA-) based hydrogels have been considered for different tissue engineering applications. First-generation AGMA1 hydrogels, amphoteric but prevailing cationic hydrogels containing carboxylic and guanidine groups as side substituents, show satisfactory results in terms of adhesion and proliferation properties towards different cell lines. Unfortunately, these hydrogels are very swellable materials, breakable on handling, and have been found inadequate for other applications. To overcome this problem, second-generation AGMA1 hydrogels have been prepared adopting a new synthetic method. These new hydrogels exhibit good biological properties in vitro with satisfactory mechanical characteristics. They are obtained in different forms and shapes and successfully tested in vivo for the regeneration of peripheral nerves. This paper reports on our recent efforts in the use of first-and second-generation PAA hydrogels as substrates for cell culturing and tubular scaffold for peripheral nerve regeneration.