Michael Volk

Michael Volk

Master student

Oxidized alginate-keratin hybrid hydrogel for 3D bioprinting


Supervisors: Jonas Hazur, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

The rational choice and design of biomaterials for biomedical applications is crucial for successful in vitro and in vivo strategies, ultimately dictating their performance and potential clinical applications.
Alginate, a marine-derived polysaccharide obtained from seaweeds, is one of the most widely used polymers in the biomedical field, particularly to build three dimensional (3D) systems for in vitro culture and in vivo delivery of cells. Despite their biocompatibility, alginate hydrogels often require modifications to improve their biological activity [1]. To overcome the drawbacks of alginate, combination with proteins is being investigated due to their binding motifs to enhance cellular interaction and to tailor the degradability, biocompatibility and availability of the hydrogel [2]. In this project the self-assembly properties of keratin, and its ability to mimic the extracellular matrix are combined with the rapid crosslinking behavior of oxidized alginate to produce hybrid hydrogels via 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering applications [3].

[1] Neves, et al., Modulating Alginate Hydrogels for Improved Biological Performance as Cellular 3D Microenvironments, Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol., 2020, 8:665.

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

[3] Silva, et al., Hybrid hydrogels based on keratin and alginate for tissue engineering, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014, 2:5441.