We developed a chondroitin sulfate-polyethylene glycol (CS-PEG) adhesive hydrogel with numerous potential biomedical applications. The carboxyl groups on chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains were functionalized with N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) to yield chondroitin sulfate succinimidyl succinate (CS-NHS). Following purification, the CS-NHS molecule can react with primary amines to form amide bonds. Hence, using six arm polyethylene glycol amine PEG-(NH2)6 as a crosslinker we formed a hydrogel which was covalently bound to proteins in tissue via amide bonds. By varying the initial pH of the precursor solutions, the hydrogel stiffness, swelling properties, and kinetics of gelation could be controlled. The sealing/adhesive strength could also be modified by varying the damping and storage modulus properties of the material. The adhesive strength of the material with cartilage tissue was shown to be ten times higher than that of fibrin glue. Cells encapsulated or in direct contact with the material remained viable and metabolically active. Furthermore, CS-PEG material produced minimal inflammatory response when implanted subcutaneously in a rat model and enzymatic degradation was demonstrated in vitro. This work establishes an adhesive hydrogel derived from biological and synthetic components with potential application in wound healing and regenerative medicine.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.