Novel scalable silicone elastomer and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) composite materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications

Soumyaranjan Mohanty, Mette Hemmingsen, Magdalena Wojcik, Martin Alm, Peter Thomsen, Martin Dufva, Jenny Emnéus, Anders Wolff

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    In recent years hydrogels have received increasing attention as potential materials for applications in regenerative medicine. They can be used for scaffold
    materials providing structural integrity to tissue constructs, for controlled delivery of drugs and proteins to cell and tissues, and for support materials in tissue
    growth. However, the real challenge is to obtain sufficiently good mechanical properties of the hydrogel. The present study shows the combination of two normally non-compatible materials, silicone elastomer and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA), into a novel composite material with increased
    hydrophilicity in regard to virgin silicone elastomer, making it suitable as a scaffold for tissue engineering and with the concomitant possibility for delivering
    drug from the scaffold to the tissue.
    Interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) of silicone elastomer and PHEMA was produced using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as the swelling agent. By removing the scCO2 an IPN of hydrogel and silicone elastomer was obtained, capable of absorbing water just like a traditional hydrogel, but with remarkably increased mechanical properties.
    The biocompatibility of the IPN composite material was investigated using live/dead staining of hepatocytes (HepG2) growing on the polymer, showing
    excellent viability compared to the control polystyrene. Combinations of different types of silicone elastomers and different percentages of hydrogel were also investigated.
    Finally, the model drug doxycycline (a tetracycline analogue) was loaded into the hydrogel of the IPN, and the release of the doxycycline was studied using a doxycycline regulated green fluorescent reporter gene expression assay: HeLa cells grown on the IPN composite material, previously loaded with doxycycline, were transfected with the pTRE-Tight-BI-DsRed-Express plasmid, consisting of a bidirectional tetracycline sensitive promoter. The transfected HeLa cells, expressing the Tet-On transactivator, responded nicely to the release of doxycycline from the IPN composite material by the expression of green fluorescent protein. This demonstrates the potential for combined scaffold and controlled drug delivery material.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering
    Publication date2013
    Article number273
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    Event15th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering - Singapore, Singapore
    Duration: 4 Dec 20137 Dec 2013
    Conference number: 15


    Conference15th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering
    Internet address


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