New hydrogel RCPhC1-MA based on collagen type 1

Scaffolds or matrices based on extracellular matrix (ECM)-inspired biomaterials play a central role in the repair of tissue damage. Cell matrices can optimise the physiologically relevant 3D microenvironment of the cells and prevent graft cell death

To make a tissue, cells need to be build up in a complex 3D structure similar to their natural structure in the ECM. The behaviour of cells is affected by their physical environment. Hydrogels are often used as matrix for tissue engineering and organ-on-a-chip applications because they can closely mimic the physically relevant micro-environment of the extra-cellular matrix. 

Cell performance in the gel

In vitro cell culture experiments have been performed to evaluate the behaviour of various cell types embedded in the RCPhC1-MA hydrogels. These hydrogels and the hydrogel formation process are biocompatible towards among others adipose and mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs and MSCs). 

Encapsulated ASCs survived the encapsulation process and proliferate within the hydrogel which is an indication that RCPhC1-MA is an excellent ECM mimic.

Publication Photo-crosslinkable recombinant collagen mimics for tissue engineering applications, April 2019

Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Group, Ghent University


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MSCs in an extrusion printed hydrogel differentiated into chondrocytes after in 21 days cell culturing in chondrogenic medium. Red staining at day 21 indicates the deposition of glycosaminoglycans (main cartilage components)  

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Light curing and rheology

A photogelation example is shown below, illustrating the rapid gel formation of RCPhC1-MA. Here a solution of RCPhC1-MA is illuminated at a wavelength of 405 nm using LAP as photoinitiator.

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