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SELECTBIO Conferences Organoids & Organs-on-Chips 2021


Injectable and Drug Deliverable Nano-Matrix for Cartilage-on-a-Chip

Yupeng Chen, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

To achieve biomimetic microenvironment for engineered tissues, it is important to have biomaterial scaffolds to support cell anchorage and functions. However, conventional solid scaffolds are not injectable so they have limitations for applications in “difficult-to-reach” locations, such as microchannels of tissue chips or deep-tissue injury sites. Hydrogels are injectable but they are semisolid materials so they don’t have a solid surface or texture for cell anchorage and homing. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a family of self-assembled scaffolds, named Janus base nano-matrices (NMs). NMs are formed by the self-assembly between Janus base nanotubes (JBNTs, non-covalent nanotubes mimicking DNA base pairs) and extracellular matrix proteins (such as matrilin, a cartilage specific protein). The JBNT/matrilin NM, as a solid scaffold, have excellent injectability. Moreover, they can envelop growth factors inside its nanotubular bundles and anchorage cartilage cells along these bundles to realize a localized and optimized microenvironment for chondrogenic differentiation and long-term cartilage homeostasis. Therefore, the NM may be a suitable tissue engineering scaffold for cartilage-on-a-chip.

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