Epoxy-amine synthesised hydrogel scaffolds for soft-tissue engineering Academic Article uri icon


  • Highly porous and biodegradable hydrogels based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and cystamine (Cys) were fabricated using epoxy-amine chemistry and investigated as scaffolds for soft-tissue engineering. Whereas the application of fused-salt templates provided a comprehensive interconnecting pore morphology, the incorporation of a specially designed poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) cross-linker provided enhanced mechanical function without adversely effecting the scaffolds positive biological interactions. The addition of only 1.2 wt% of the PCL cross-linker was sufficient to provide improvements in the ultimate stress of 30-40%. In vitro studies not only confirmed the non-cytotoxic nature of the scaffolds, but also their degradation products, which were isolated and characterised by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI ToF MS). In vivo trials were conducted over a period of 8 weeks through implantation of the scaffolds into the dorsal region of rats. At both 2 and 8 week time points the explants revealed complete infiltration by the surrounding tissue and the development of a vascular network to support the newly generated tissue, without an excessive foreign-body response.


  • Hamid, Zuratul AA
  • Blencowe, Anton
  • Ozcelik, Berkay
  • Palmer, Jason A
  • Stevens, Geoffrey W
  • Abberton, Keren M
  • Morrison, Wayne A
  • Penington, Anthony J
  • Qiao, Greg G

publication date

  • September 2010