The degradation of gelatin/alginate/fibrin hydrogels is cell type dependent and can be modulated by targeting fibrinolysis

Abstract : In tissue engineering, cell origin is important to ensure outcome quality. However, the impact of the cell type chosen for seeding in a biocompatible matrix has been less investigated. Here, we investigated the capacity of primary and immortalized fibroblasts of distinct origins to degrade a gelatin/alginate/ fibrin (GAF)-based biomaterial. We further established that fibrin was targeted by degradative fibroblasts through the secretion of fibrinolytic matrixmetalloproteinases (MMPs) and urokinase, two types of serine protease. Finally, we demonstrated that besides aprotinin, specific targeting of fibrinolytic MMPs and urokinase led to cell-laden GAF stability for at least forty-eight hours. These results support the use of specific strategies to tune fibrin-based biomaterials degradation over time. It emphasizes the need to choose the right cell type and further bring targeted solutions to avoid the degradation of fibrin-containing hydrogels or bioinks.

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