Articles by Lisa A. Sawicki in JoVE
Light-mediated Formation and Patterning of Hydrogels for Cell Culture Applications Lisa A. Sawicki1, April M. Kloxin1,2 1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, 2Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware We describe a sequential process for light-mediated formation and subsequent biochemical patterning of synthetic hydrogel matrices for three-dimensional cell culture applications. The construction and modification of hydrogels with cytocompatible photoclick chemistry is demonstrated. Additionally, facile techniques to quantify and observe patterns and determine cell viability within these hydrogels are presented.
Other articles by Lisa A. Sawicki on PubMed
Hydrogel Scaffolds As in Vitro Models to Study Fibroblast Activation in Wound Healing and Disease Biomaterials Science. May, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 25379176 Wound healing results from complex signaling between cells and their environment in response to injury. Fibroblasts residing within the extracellular matrix (ECM) of various connective tissues are critical for matrix synthesis and repair. Upon injury or chronic insult, these cells activate into wound-healing cells, called myofibroblasts, and repair the damaged tissue through enzyme and protein secretion. However, misregulation and persistence of myofibroblasts can lead to uncontrolled accumulation of matrix proteins, tissue stiffening, and ultimately disease. Extracellular cues are important regulators of fibroblast activation and have been implicated in their persistence. Hydrogel-based culture models have emerged as useful tools to examine fibroblast response to ECM cues presented during these complex processes. In this Mini-Review, we will provide an overview of these model systems, which are built upon naturally-derived or synthetic materials, and mimic relevant biophysical and biochemical properties of the native ECM with different levels of control. Additionally, we will discuss the application of these hydrogel-based systems for the examination of fibroblast function and fate, including adhesion, migration, and activation, as well as approaches for mimicking both static and temporal aspects of extracellular environments. Specifically, we will highlight hydrogels that have been used to investigate the effects of matrix rigidity, protein binding, and cytokine signaling on fibroblast activation. Last, we will describe future directions for the design of hydrogels to develop improved synthetic models that mimic the complex extracellular environment.
Design of Thiol-ene Photoclick Hydrogels Using Facile Techniques for Cell Culture Applications†Electronic Supplementary Information (ESI) Available. See DOI: 10.1039/c4bm00187gClick Here for Additional Data File Biomaterials Science. Nov, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 25717375 Thiol-ene 'click' chemistries have been widely used in biomaterials applications, including drug delivery, tissue engineering, and controlled cell culture, owing to their rapid, cytocompatible, and often orthogonal reactivity. In particular, hydrogel-based biomaterials formed by photoinitiated thiol-ene reactions afford spatiotemporal control over the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the network for creating synthetic materials that mimic the extracellular matrix or enable controlled drug release. However, the use of charged peptides functionalized with cysteines, which can form disulfides prior to reaction, and vinyl monomers that require multistep syntheses and contain ester bonds, may lead to undesired inhomogeneity or degradation under cell culture conditions. Here, we designed a thiol-ene hydrogel formed by the reaction of allyloxycarbonyl-functionalized peptides and thiol-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol). Hydrogels were polymerized by free radical initiation under cytocompatible doses of long wavelength ultraviolet light in the presence of water-soluble photoinitiators (lithium acylphosphinate, LAP, and 2-hydroxy-1-[4-(2-hydroxyethoxy)phenyl]-2-methyl-1-propanone, Irgacure 2959). Mechanical properties of these hydrogels were controlled by varying the monomer concentration to mimic a range of soft tissue environments, and hydrogel stability in cell culture medium was observed over weeks. Patterns of biochemical cues were created within the hydrogels post-formation and confirmed through the incorporation of fluorescently-labeled peptides and Ellman's assay to detect free thiols. Human mesenchymal stem cells remained viable after encapsulation and subsequent photopatterning, demonstrating the utility of the monomers and hydrogels for three-dimensional cell culture. This facile approach enables the formation and characterization of hydrogels with well-defined, spatially-specific properties and expands the suite of monomers available for three-dimensional cell culture and other biological applications.