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Characterization of Nonporous and Porous Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels and Their Partial Degradation to Enhance Transfection In Vitro

  • Author(s): Miller, Andrew William
  • Advisor(s): Segura, Tatiana
  • et al.

Hydrogels have presented themselves as attractive options for temporary tissue replacement after wound as they provide moisture and protection for the affected area; meanwhile, therapeutics can also be loaded into hydrogels to positively influence wound repair. However, cell access to these therapeutics can be limited if the polymer network is too tight. This work presents a partially-degraded, DNA-loaded hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel for enhanced in vitro transfection. The partial degradation is hypothesized to loosen the polymer network to allow for greater cell infiltration and access to the loaded DNA. Thorough characterization is performed on this type of gel to ensure system robustness; measurements include rheology, void fraction, cell seeding, and mesh size. This work reports enhanced transfection and cell infiltration for partially degraded, nonporous, DNA loaded HA gels with groundwork placed for expansion to a porous structure.

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