Encapsulating cells within a polymer matrix creates a three-dimensional (3D) scaffold that may more accurately represent the native microenvironment and cell organization. Here we report a porous scaffold prepared from a photocurable elastomer, poly(glycerolco-sebacate)-acrylate (PGSA). The scaffold porosity, swelling, mass loss, toxicity and mechanical properties, suggest that porous PGSA could be used to support the growth and differentiation of encapsulated cells. Neuroblastoma (NB) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were encapsulated into the matrix and found to adhere to the material and interact with each other within 24 h. After 7 days, encapsulated NB cells were found to grow, and form matrix fibrils and tissue. Undifferentiated hESCs proliferated and differentiated in the PGSA scaffold. In vivo experiments showed that both porous scaffolds have similar biocompatibility profiles as non-porous PGSA, but porous PGSA promotes tissue ingrowth, as compared to non-porous PGSA. We therefore propose that porous PGSA scaffolds can provide a logistical template for 3D growth of cells and tissue engineering.

Biocompatibility, Cell encapsulation, Elastomer, Nerve, Scaffold, Stem cell
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2007.07.039, hdl.handle.net/1765/35699
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gerecht, S, Townsend, S.A, Pressler, H, Zhu, H, Nijst, C.L.E, Bruggeman, J.P, … Langer, R.S. (2007). A porous photocurable elastomer for cell encapsulation and culture. Biomaterials, 28(32), 4826–4835. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2007.07.039