Synthesis and characterization of matrix metalloprotease sensitive-low molecular weight hyaluronic acid based hydrogels

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

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Hyaluronic acid is a naturally derived glycosaminoglycan (GAG) involved in biological processes. A low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (50 kDa)-based hydrogel was synthesized using acrylated hyaluronic acid. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) sensitive hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels were prepared by conjugation with two different peptides: cell adhesion peptides containing integrin binding domains (Arg-Gly-Asp: RGD) and a cross-linker with MMP degradable peptides to mimic the remodeling characteristics of natural extracellular matrices (ECMs) by cell-derived MMPs. Mechanical properties of these hydrogels were evaluated with different molecular weights of acrylated hyaluronic acid (10 kDa and 50 kDa) cross-linked by MMP sensitive peptides by measuring elastic modulus, viscous modulus, swelling ratio and degradation rate. The MMP sensitive hydrogel based on the 50 kDa hyaluronic acid showed a 31.5-fold shorter gelation time, 4.7-fold higher storage modulus and 0.51-fold smaller swelling ratio than those of the hydrogel based on the 10 kDa. Degradation rate was dependent on MMP sensitivity of the peptide cross-linker. MMP sensitive hyaluronic acid based hydrogels were degraded faster than MMP insensitive-hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were cultured in MMP-sensitive or insensitive hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels (50 kDa hyaluronic acid) and/or immobilized cell adhesive RGD peptides. Cells cultured in the MMP-sensitive hydrogel with RGD peptides showed dramatic cell spreading compared with that of the control, which remained round. This MMP-sensitive low molecular weight hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel could be useful in tissue engineering by improving tissue defect regeneration and tissue remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3311-3318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (R01-2003-000-11592) and by a grant (code #: 05K1501-00110) from the Center for Nanostructured Materials Technology under the 21st Century Frontier R&D Programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Korea and from the Brain Korea 21 Project of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Republic of Korea.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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