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      Mechanical characterisation of hydrogel materials

      International Materials Reviews
      Maney Publishing

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          Hydrogels in Biology and Medicine: From Molecular Principles to Bionanotechnology

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            RGD and other recognition sequences for integrins.

            Proteins that contain the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) attachment site, together with the integrins that serve as receptors for them, constitute a major recognition system for cell adhesion. The RGD sequence is the cell attachment site of a large number of adhesive extracellular matrix, blood, and cell surface proteins, and nearly half of the over 20 known integrins recognize this sequence in their adhesion protein ligands. Some other integrins bind to related sequences in their ligands. The integrin-binding activity of adhesion proteins can be reproduced by short synthetic peptides containing the RGD sequence. Such peptides promote cell adhesion when insolubilized onto a surface, and inhibit it when presented to cells in solution. Reagents that bind selectively to only one or a few of the RGD-directed integrins can be designed by cyclizing peptides with selected sequences around the RGD and by synthesizing RGD mimics. As the integrin-mediated cell attachment influences and regulates cell migration, growth, differentiation, and apoptosis, the RGD peptides and mimics can be used to probe integrin functions in various biological systems. Drug design based on the RGD structure may provide new treatments for diseases such as thrombosis, osteoporosis, and cancer.
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              Photodegradable hydrogels for dynamic tuning of physical and chemical properties.

              We report a strategy to create photodegradable poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogels through rapid polymerization of cytocompatible macromers for remote manipulation of gel properties in situ. Postgelation control of the gel properties was demonstrated to introduce temporal changes, creation of arbitrarily shaped features, and on-demand pendant functionality release. Channels photodegraded within a hydrogel containing encapsulated cells allow cell migration. Temporal variation of the biochemical gel composition was used to influence chondrogenic differentiation of encapsulated stem cells. Photodegradable gels that allow real-time manipulation of material properties or chemistry provide dynamic environments with the scope to answer fundamental questions about material regulation of live cell function and may affect an array of applications from design of drug delivery vehicles to tissue engineering systems.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Materials Reviews
                International Materials Reviews
                Maney Publishing
                0950-6608
                1743-2804
                December 05 2013
                December 05 2013
                January 2014
                : 59
                : 1
                : 44-59
                Article
                10.1179/1743280413Y.0000000022
                8f19b540-d8b8-4621-87b9-359bc0a63ee9
                © 2014
                History

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