Shinya Yano 1 , Megumi Mori 1 , Naozumi Teramoto 1 , * , Makoto Iisaka 1 , Natsumi Suzuki 1 , Masanari Noto 1 , Yasuko Kaimoto 1 , Masashi Kakimoto 1 , Michio Yamada 2 , Eri Shiratsuchi 2 , Toshiaki Shimasaki 1 , Mitsuhiro Shibata 1
09 January 2015
Photocrosslinked hydrogels reinforced by microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) were prepared from a methacrylate-functionalized fish elastin polypeptide and MFC dispersed in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). First, a water-soluble elastin peptide with a molecular weight of ca. 500 g/mol from the fish bulbus arteriosus was polymerized by N, N′-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC), a condensation reagent, and then modified with 2-isocyanatoethyl methacrylate (MOI) to yield a photocrosslinkable fish elastin polypeptide. The product was dissolved in DMSO and irradiated with UV light in the presence of a radical photoinitiator. We obtained hydrogels successfully by substitution of DMSO with water. The composite gel with MFC was prepared by UV irradiation of the photocrosslinkable elastin polypeptide mixed with dispersed MFC in DMSO, followed by substitution of DMSO with water. The tensile test of the composite gels revealed that the addition of MFC improved the tensile properties, and the shape of the stress–strain curve of the composite gel became more similar to the typical shape of an elastic material with an increase of MFC content. The rheology measurement showed that the elastic modulus of the composite gel increased with an increase of MFC content. The cell proliferation test on the composite gel showed no toxicity.