Based on the thermosensitivity of Pluronic® F127 and the cytointeractability of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequences, RGD-modified F127 dimethacrylate (FM-RGD) hydrogel was investigated as a 3-dimensional culture matrix for chondrocytes. Chondrocytes were encapsulated in the hydrogel by radical copolymerization of FM-RGD and FM in the presence of cells. The FM-RGD hydrogel modulus could be modulated by temperature variation from 15 °C (1,300 Pa) to the culture temperature of 37 °C (8,900 Pa), at which the hydrogel provided a condrocyte-compatible microenvironment. Compared with the hydrogel prepared from F127 dimethacrylate (FM) without RGD, the RGD-modified hydrogel produced significant (p<0.01) improvements in cell proliferation, DNA production, and viability while allowing the chondrocytes to maintain their original spherical phenotypes.
- stimuli-sensitive polymers