Chapter 5: Injectable Thermogelling Polymers for Bone and Cartilage Tissue Engineering
Published:27 Sep 2018
Injectable thermoresponsive hydrogels are elegant scaffolds for tissue engineering. Cells and biomolecules can be directly embedded in the gel precursor solution, which then gels at body temperature. Significant advances have been made in this field over the past two decades. The ease with which the hydrogel properties can be tailored has generated a number of different scaffolds for cartilage and bone tissue engineering, as well as for cardiac and neural applications. In this chapter, we provide a concise overview of the general properties of thermogels for tissue engineering applications. We focus on some of the materials developed for bone and cartilage tissue engineering, including pNiPAAm, chitosan, PEG-PGLA and PEG-PCL based thermogels. Interesting aspects of the gelling mechanism and original approaches are described, highlighting the importance of long term, in vivo investigations to assess biodegradability, cytotoxicity and the host response.