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Advances in Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7363579, 8 pages
Research Article

An Optimized Injectable Hydrogel Scaffold Supports Human Dental Pulp Stem Cell Viability and Spreading

1Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612-7212, USA
2Endodontics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612-7212, USA

Received 16 December 2015; Revised 3 April 2016; Accepted 11 April 2016

Academic Editor: Chiaki Kitamura

Copyright © 2016 T. D. Jones 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.


Introduction. HyStem-C is a commercially available injectable hydrogel composed of polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA), hyaluronan (HA), and gelatin (Gn). These components can be mechanically tuned to enhance cell viability and spreading. Methods. The concentration of PEGDA with an added disulfide bond (PEGSSDA) was varied from 0.5 to 8.0% (w/v) to determine the optimal concentration for injectable clinical application. We evaluated the cell viability of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) embedded in 2% (w/v) PEGSSDA-HA-Gn hydrogels. Volume ratios of HA : Gn from 100 : 0 to 25 : 75 were varied to encourage hDPSC spreading. Fibronectin (Fn) was added to our model to determine the effect of extracellular matrix protein concentration on hDPSC behavior. Results. Our preliminary data suggests that the hydrogel gelation time decreased as the PEGSSDA cross-linker concentration increased. The PEGSSDA-HA-Gn was biocompatible with hDPSCs, and increased ratios of HA : Gn enhanced cell viability for 14 days. Additionally, cell proliferation with added fibronectin increased significantly over time at concentrations of 1.0 and 10.0 μg/mL in PEGDA-HA-Gn hydrogels, while cell spreading significantly increased at Fn concentrations of 0.1 μg/mL. Conclusions. This study demonstrates that PEG-based injectable hydrogels maintain hDPSC viability and facilitate cell spreading, mainly in the presence of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins.