Optimizing the composition of gelatin methacryloyl and hyaluronic acid methacryloyl hydrogels to maximize mechanical and transport properties using response surface methodology
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Hydrogel materials are promising candidates in cartilage tissue engineering as they provide a 3D porous environment for cell proliferation and the development of new cartilage tissue. Both the mechanical and transport properties of hydrogel scaffolds influence the ability of encapsulated cells to produce neocartilage. In photocrosslinkable hydrogels, both of these material properties can be tuned by changing the crosslinking density. However, the interdependent nature of the structural, physical and biological properties of photocrosslinkable hydrogels means that optimizing composition is typically a complicated process, involving sequential and/or iterative steps of physiochemical and biological characterization. The combinational nature of the variables indicates that an exhaustive analysis of all reasonable concentration ranges would be impractical. Herein, response surface methodology (RSM) was used to efficiently optimize the composition of a hybrid of gelatin-methacryloyl (GelMA) and hyaluronic acid methacryloyl (HAMA) with respect to both mechanical and transport properties. RSM was employed to investigate the effect of GelMA, HAMA, and photoinitiator concentration on the shear modulus and diffusion coefficient of the hydrogel membrane. Two mathematical models were fitted to the experimental data and used to predict the optimum hydrogel composition. Finally, the optimal composition was tested and compared with the predicted values.
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Australian National Fabrication Facility