Characterization of low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel and differential stem cell responses in the hydrogel microenvironments

Jungju Kim, Yongdoo Park, Giyoong Tae, Back Lee Kyu, Mo Hwang Chang, Jung Hwang Soon, Sook Kim In, Insup Noh, Kyung Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Hyaluronic acid is a natural glycosaminoglycan involved in biological processes. Low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (10 and 50 kDa)-based hydrogel was synthesized using derivatized hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid was acrylated by two steps: (1) introduction of an amine group using adipic acid dihydrazide, and (2) acrylation by N-acryloxysuccinimide. Injectable hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel was prepared by using acrylated hyaluronic acid and poly(ethylene glycol) tetra-thiols via Michael-type addition reaction. Mechanical properties of the hydrogel were evaluated by varying the molecular weight of acrylated hyaluronic acid (10 and 50 kDa) and the weight percent of hydrogel. Hydrogel based on 50-kDa hyaluronic acid showed the shortest gelation time and the highest complex modulus. Next, human mesenchymal stem cells were cultured in cell-adhesive RGD peptide-immobilized hydrogels together with bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2). Cells cultured in the RGD/BMP-2-incorporated hydrogels showed proliferation rates higher than that of control or RGD-immobilized hydrogels. Real-time RT-PCR showed that the expression of osteoblast marker genes such as CBFα1 and alkaline phosphatase was increased in hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel, and the expression level was dependent on the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid, RGD peptide, and BMP-2. This study indicates that low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel can be applied to tissue regeneration as differentiation guidance materials of stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-975
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 15


  • Differentiation
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Hydrogel
  • Microenvironments
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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