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Fibrin hydrogel is a central biological material in tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. As such, fibrin is typically combined with cells and biomolecules targeted to the regenerated tissue. Previous studies have analyzed the release of different molecules from fibrin hydrogels; however, the effect of embedded cells on the release profile has yet to be quantitatively explored. This study focused on the release of Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran (FD) 250 kDa from fibrin hydrogels, populated with different concentrations of fibroblast or endothelial cells, during a 48-h observation period. The addition of cells to fibrin gels decreased the overall release by a small percentage (by 7-15% for fibroblasts and 6-8% for endothelial cells) relative to acellular gels. The release profile was shown to be modulated by various cellular activities, including gel degradation and physical obstruction to diffusion. Cell-generated forces and matrix deformation (i.e., densification and fiber alignment) were not found to significantly influence the release profiles. This knowledge is expected to improve fibrin integration in tissue engineering and drug delivery applications by enabling predictions and ways to modulate the release profiles of various biomolecules.


Viki Raz Lepsky, Sari Natan, Oren Tchaicheeyan, Avraham Kolel, Merav Zussman, Meital Zilberman, Ayelet Lesman. FITC-Dextran Release from Cell-Embedded Fibrin Hydrogels. Biomolecules. 2021 Feb 23;11(2)

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PMID: 33672379

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