MoBioC 2022 Seminar Series: Prof. Carsten Werner (Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research)

Image: Prof. Werner
Prof. Werner

Date: 13 April 2022

Cell-Instructive Polymer Hydrogels Based on Sulfated Glycosaminoglycans

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) within extracellular matrices (ECM) control the presentation of soluble, cell-instructive signals. Incorporation of GAGs into engineered polymer networks can therefore provide a powerful and versatile means of directing cell fate. To systematically explore the related options, we have established a rational design strategy for ECM-inspired hydrogels based on multi-armed poly(ethylene glycol), GAGs of different sulfation pattern and functional peptides. Micro-processing schemes (cyro-gelation, solvent-assisted micro-molding, microfluidic microgel fabrication, multicomponent inkjet bioprinting) allow for the fabrication of multiphasic and multifunctional GAG-based gel materials with spatiotemporally adjusted signaling characteristics. Applications of the materials platform include 3D culture models of stem cell and tumor microenvironments as well as scaffolds for exploring new therapeutic approaches to chronic wounds and to neurodegenerative diseases.

(1) Freudenberg, U.; Liang, Y.K.; Kiick, K.; Werner, C.: Glycosaminoglycan-based biohybrid hydrogels: a sweet and smart choice for multifunctional biomaterials. Advanced Materials 40 (2016) 8861-8891, DOI:10.1002/adma.201601908
(2) Gvaramia, D.; Müller, E.; Müller, K; Attalah, P.; Tsurkan, M.V.; Freundenberg, U.; Werner, C.: Combined influence of biophysical and biochemical cues on maintenance and profileration of hematopoietic stem cells. Biomaterials 138 (2017) 108-117, DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.05.023
(3) Müller, E.; Pompe, T.; Freudenberg, U.; Werner, C.: Solvent-assisted micromolding of biohybrid hydrogels to maintain human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells ex vivo. Advanced Materials 29 (2017) Article number: 1703489, DOI:10.1002/adma.201703489
(4) Husman, D., Welzel, P. B., Vogler, S., Bray, L. J., Träber, N., Friedrichs, J., Körber, V., Tsurkan, M. V., Freudenberg, U., Thiele, J., Werner, C.: Multiphasic microgel-in-gel materials to recapitulate cellular mesoenvironments in vitro, Biomater Sci (2019), DOI:10.1039/c9bm01009b

(5) Kühn, S., Sievers, J., Stoppa, A., Träber, N., Zimmermann, R., Welzel, P., Werner, C.: Cell-instructive multiphasic gel-in-gel materials, Advanced Functional Materials (2020), DOI:10.1002/adfm.201908857
(6) Magno, V., Meinhardt, A., Werner, C.: Polymer hydrogels to guide organotypic and organoid cultures, Advanced Fuctional Materials (2020), DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202000097

Updated by: Julien Gautrot