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Self-assembly of thermoresponsive hydrogels via molecular recognition toward a spatially organized coculture system

Biomacromolecules, 18, 281-287 (2017).

Ryota Tamate, Kotomi Takahashi, Takeshi Ueki, Aya M. Akimoto*, and Ryo Yoshida*


温度応答的なゾル-ゲル転移及び分子認識によるゲル間接着機能を兼ね備えた2種類のABA型3元共重合体 (カテコール基を含むCAT-ABA及びフェニルボロン酸基を含むPBA-ABA) を合成しました.この2種類の共重合体は,それぞれがゲル状態の際に細胞の内包を可能とし,さらに,細胞を内包したゲル同士 (CAT-ABAゲルとPBA-ABAゲル) を培養液中で自己集合させることができます.複数種の細胞の空間制御を可能とする共培養システムとして,再生組織創製への展開が期待できます.

In this study, we present the spontaneous adhesion of two thermoreversible physically cross-linked hydrogels via molecular recognition under a physiological condition. We successfully prepared two types of hydrogels generated using two kinds of well-defined ABA type triblock copolymers: CAT-ABA and PBA-ABA, which contain catechol and phenylboronic acid groups as functional side chains, respectively. Both types of ABA triblock copolymers were able to undergo sol-to-gel transition with the increase in temperature resulting from the formation of physical cross-links at a physiological temperature, which enables easy cell encapsulation in the hydrogel. It was determined that the cell encapsulating hydrogels exhibited spontaneous macroscopic adhesion through the formation of boronic esters between phenylboronic acid and catechol at the hydrogel interface. This novel system likely represents a promising method to construct a precisely organized, three-dimensional coculture system to enable the reconstruction of complicated tissues such as the liver in vitro.

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