Anna Smits

Anna Smits

Bachelor student

Investigation of the influence of amorphous and crystalline calcium-silicates incorporated in ADA-GEL composite hydrogels


Supervisors: Susanne Heid, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Hydrogels formed from naturally existing biopolymers are an integral part of the field of biofabrication due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. Alginate is a highly biocompatible polysaccharide as it provides a cell friendly environment. As alginate lacks cell binding moieties it is oxidized to alginate-dialdehyde (ADA) and subsequently combined with gelatin to form ADA-GEL in order to further simulate the extracellular matrix. ADA-GEL has a great potential in the biomedical sector, e.g. for bioprinting and tissue engineering [1], [2].
In this project, pure ADA-GEL hydrogels will be combined with bioactive fillers to enhance and tune the long-term stability and cell biology behavior [3]. Additionally, mechanical properties, ion and protein release of the composite hydrogels will be analyzed and compared when using amorphous and crystalline inorganic fillers, respectively.

[1] Leite, A., et al., Bioplotting of a bioactive alginate dialdehyde-gelatin composite hydrogel containing bioactive glass nanoparticles, Biofabrication, 8, 035005, 2016.

[2] Sarker, B., et al., Fabrication of alginate- gelatin crosslinked hydrogel microcapsules and evaluation of the microstructure and physio- chemical properties, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2, 1470-1482, 2014.

[3] Heid, S. and Boccaccini, A. R., Advancing bioinks for 3D bioprinting using reactive fillers: A review, Acta Biomater. 2020, in press.