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Nasal reconstruction is limited by the availability of autologous cartilage. The aim is to investigate an adhesive biomaterial for tissue engineering of nasal cartilage by evaluating mechanical properties of hydrogels made of fibrin crosslinked with genipin as compared to native tissue. Hydrogels of fibrin, fibrin-genipin, and fibrin-genipin with extracellular matrix (ECM) particles were created and evaluated with mechanical testing to determine compression, tensile, and shear properties. Rabbit nasal septal cartilage was harvested and tested in these modalities for comparison. Transmission electron microscopy characterized hydrogel structure. Fibrin-genipin gels had higher compressive, tensile, and shear moduli compared to fibrin alone or fibrin-genipin with ECM. However, all hydrogel formulations had lower moduli than the rabbit nasal septal cartilage. Electron microscopy showed genipin crosslinking increased structural density of the hydrogel and that cartilage ECM created larger structural features with lower crosslinking density. The addition of genipin significantly improved mechanical properties of fibrin hydrogels by increasing the compressive, tensile, and shear moduli. The addition of cartilage ECM, which can add native structure and composition, resulted in decreased moduli values. Fibrin-genipin is a bioactive and biomechanically stable hydrogel that may offer promise as a scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering in nasal reconstruction, yet further augmentation is required to match material properties of native nasal cartilage.


Nikita Gupta, Michelle A Cruz, Philip Nasser, Joshua D Rosenberg, James C Iatridis. Fibrin-Genipin Hydrogel for Cartilage Tissue Engineering in Nasal Reconstruction. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology. 2019 Jul;128(7):640-646

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PMID: 30862177

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