Manipulating Vivo Calcification with Injectable Hydrogels

Technology #5068

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Zvi Schwartz
Barbara Dale Boyan PhD
Managed By
Gage Ramos

Background: Alginate hydrogels have been used for a wide variety of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications due to their many desirable properties. Alginate hydrogels have favorable mass transfer properties, can be molded into specific shapes, have adjustable degradation kinetics, support a range of different cell phenotypes, may be mechanically and biochemically modified, support cell differentiation in large animal models, and may be biocompatible for delivery of cells in human trials. The most common method of incorporating bioactive molecules or cells into alginate matrices is via extrusion, where an alginate suspension is extruded through a needle to form droplets that fall into a solution that contains polyvalent cations causing alginate crosslinking. Various pre-clinical and clinical studies have reported alginate calcification, which presents a critical challenge in developing large scale applications using this hydrogel. Alginate calcification in vivo affects mass transfer in and out of the hydrogel and may prevent reabsorption and create unwanted mineralization foci within the tissue.

Technology: This invention presents compositions and methods of inhibiting or preventing calcification of hydrogels. More particularly, the compositions and methods having a pH lower than 7.4, forming a hydrogel by crosslinking alginate in a solution with a bisphosphonate compound, and/or forming hydrogel by crosslinking polyanionic polymer with a polyvalent cation that is not Ca2+. Bone regeneration can be accomplished by administering a hydrogel that does not encapsulate biological material that affects calcification and/or bone formation to an area of a subject’s body.

Commercial Applications:

  • Bone regeneration
  • Bone formation

Benefits/ Advantages:

  • Method involves combining hydrogel with a buffer solution