Utku Özdemir

Utku Özdemir

Master student

Development of advanced hydrogels based on oxidized alginate-gelatin for osteochondral defect repair


Supervisors: Lisa Schöbel, M. Sc., Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

As an avascular tissue, degenerated articular cartilage lacks the capability to properly heal itself. When left untreated, chondral defects extend deep into the subchondral bone, becoming osteochondral defects (OCD) and necessitating joint replacement in the most severe cases [1]. Osteochondral tissue engineering aims to heal OCDs by developing heterogeneous, multiphasic scaffolds encompassing both cartilage and bone tissues [2]. Oxidized alginate-gelatin (ADA-GEL) based hydrogels have been a focus of research to provide a suitable tissue engineering scaffold due to their similarity to the extracellular matrix (ECM) and bioprintability. Despite them being biocompatible for cartilage repair, mimicking the layered native osteochondral structure while having a good cartilage to bone integration is still challenging [3]. In this study, ADA-GEL will be refined to enhance its suitability for cartilage tissue engineering and the resulting hydrogel will be investigated with regard to its degradation behavior, mechanical properties and cell-material interactions. Moreover, multilayer scaffolds for OCD repair will be fabricated by 3D printing.

[1] W. Wei and H. Dai, “Articular cartilage and osteochondral tissue engineering techniques: Recent advances and challenges,” Bioact Mater, vol. 6, no. 12, pp. 4830–4855, 2021

[2] R. Chen, J. S. Pye, J. Li, C. B. Little, and J. J. Li, “Multiphasic scaffolds for the repair of osteochondral defects: Outcomes of preclinical studies,” Bioact Mater, vol. 27, pp. 505–545, 2023

[3] T. Kreller, T. Distler, S. Heid, S. Gerth, R. Detsch, and A. R. Boccaccini, “Physico-chemical modification of gelatine for the improvement of 3D printability of oxidized alginate-gelatine hydrogels towards cartilage tissue engineering” Materials & Design, vol. 208, 2021