Author(s): Tabata Y, Ikada Y
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Abstract Biodegradable gelatin hydrogels were prepared through the glutaraldehyde crosslinking of acidic gelatin with an isoelectric point (IEP) of 5.0 and the basic gelatin with an IEP of 9.0. The hydrogel water content was changed by the concentration of both gelatin and glutaraldehyde, used for hydrogel preparation. An aqueous solution of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was sorbed into the gelatin hydrogel freeze-dried to obtain a bFGF-incorporating gelatin hydrogel. Irrespective of the hydrogel water content, approximately 30\% of the incorporated bFGF was released from the bFGF-incorporating acidic gelatin hydrogel, within the first day into phosphate-buffered saline solution at 37 degrees C, followed by no substantial release. Probably, the basic bFGF complexed with the acidic gelatin through poly-ion complexation would not be released under the in vitro non-degradation condition of gelatin. On the contrary, almost 100\% of the incorporated bFGF was initially released from all types of basic gelatin hydrogels. This is due to the simple diffusion of bFGF because of no complexation between bFGF and the basic gelatin. When implanted subcutaneously into the mouse back, bFGF-incorporating acidic and basic gelatin hydrogels with higher water contents were degraded with time faster than those with lower water contents. Significant neovascularization was induced around the implanted site of the bFGF-incorporating acidic gelatin hydrogel. The induction period prolonged with the decrease in hydrogel water content. On the other hand, such a prolonged vascularization effect was not achieved by the bFGF-incorporating basic gelatin hydrogel and the hydrogel initially exhibited less enhanced effect, irrespective of the water content. These findings indicate that the controlled release of biologically active bFGF is caused by biodegradation of the acidic gelatin hydrogel, resulting in induction of vascularization effect dependent on the water content. It is possible that only the transient vascularization by the basic gelatin hydrogel is due to the initial large burst in bFGF release, probably because of the down regulation of bFGF receptor.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine