Research press release


Scientific Reports

Biomaterials: Hydrogel, heal thyself


今回、Su Chenたちは、酸化還元剤を注入した2層構造のナノファイバー薄膜を作製して、生体組織の血管新生と栄養素送達を模倣した。Gel-1は、切り分けてから組み立て直すと、外部からの介入なしに断片が一体化する。Chenたちは、修復層の有効性を調べるために、2本のGel-1ロッドを切り分けてから組み立て直し、それぞれの断片の間に修復層を入れた場合と入れない場合で調べた。その結果、修復層を入れてヒドロゲルを結合させた方がヒドロゲルの修復が早くなることがわかった。この修復層は、切断面全体での分子拡散を促進し、結合を促進する酸化還元剤を増やし、供給することで修復を促進すると考えられている。


A nanofibre ‘healing layer’ that can increase the self-healing response of a hydrogel (a stretchy polymer biomaterial) is demonstrated in a paper published in Scientific Reports this week. By comparing the recovery of the hydrogel ‘Gel-1’ with and without the healing layer, the authors suggest that the presence of the healing layer can substantially reduce the healing time.

Su Chen and colleagues created a bilayer film of nanofibres infused with redox agents to mimic the vascularisation and nutrient delivery of living tissue. When cut into pieces and then reassembled, the Gel-1 pieces can merge back together without external intervention. To investigate the effectiveness of the healing layer, the authors cut two Gel-1 rods into sections and reassembled them, either with or without the healing layer in between each cut. They found that the gel restored more quickly when associated with the gel with the healing layer. The healing layer is thought to accelerate healing by facilitating molecular diffusion across the cut, increasing and providing redox agents that boost bonding.

The authors propose that the introduction of a self-healing layer could help to accelerate the healing process of other hydrogels, including those with biomedical applications such as regenerative medicine.

doi: 10.1038/srep02811


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