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Analysis of UV crosslinked hydrogels using ElastoSens™ Bio
— The evaluation of the mechanical properties of UV-crosslinked hydrogels is conventionally performed with destructive techniques.
— ElastoSens™ Bio allowed multiple tests on the same UV-crosslinked hydrogels under progressive exposure to UV light and controlled temperature.
— Longer exposure time to UV light increased the stiffness of methacrylated hyaluronic acid and gelatin but no influence was observed for methacrylated collagen.
Hydrogels have been widely used in biomedical research for developing engineered tissues and novel treatments such as wound dressings and drug delivery systems. Photo-crosslinkable polymers are an interesting option in the field due to the possibility of tuning its microstructure by regulating the wavelength, intensity and duration of the applied light [1, 2, 3]. The modulation of the hydrogel microstructure is important for tailoring the mechanical properties of 3D matrices or for the release of drugs from hydrogels. The evaluation of the hydrogel mechanical properties during or after exposure to UV light is usually performed with destructive testing techniques such as rheometry and compression testing. However, this prevents the re-use of the gel for further characterization. Furthermore, destructive techniques require multiple samples to test the mechanical stability of UV crosslinked gels over long periods of time. In this short application note, the ElastoSens™ Bio was used to measure the viscoelastic properties of different hydrogels from Advanced BioMatrix (CA, USA), a leading provider of biologically derived hydrogels, after different exposure times to UV light.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
— ElastoSens™ Bio is an easy-to-use, non-destructive and contact free instrument that measures the viscoelasticity of hydrogels.
— Testing the same sample over short or long periods of time is now possible due to the non destructive nature of the technology.
— ElastoSens™ Bio allows testing the viscoelasticity of biomaterials under different physical (e.g. photo or thermo stimulation), chemical (e.g. crosslinking solution) and physiological (e.g. enzymatic solution) conditions to simulate in vivo behaviors.
—ElastoSens™ Bio can be used for R&D, quality control of production and pre-clinical studies. Combined with Soft Matter Analytics™ capabilities, it offers a unique testing platform.
 Choi, J. R., Yong, K. W., Choi, J. Y., & Cowie, A. C. (2019). Recent advances in photo-crosslinkable hydrogels for biomedical applications. BioTechniques, 66(1), 40-53.
 Nichol, J. W., Koshy, S. T., Bae, H., Hwang, C. M., Yamanlar, S., & Khademhosseini, A. (2010). Cell-laden microengineered gelatin methacrylate hydrogels. Biomaterials, 31(21), 5536-5544.
 Eke, G., Mangir, N., Hasirci, N., MacNeil, S., & Hasirci, V. (2017). Development of a UV crosslinked biodegradable hydrogel containing adipose derived stem cells to promote vascularization for skin wounds and tissue engineering. Biomaterials, 129, 188-198.
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