eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2012   Volume No 24 – pages 320-330

Title: Hyaluronic acid-recombinant gelatin gels as a scaffold for soft tissue regeneration

Author: A Tuin, J Zandstra, SG Kluijtmans, JB Bouwstra, MC Harmsen, MJA Van Luyn

Address: University Medical Centre Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands

E-mail: m.c.harmsen at

Key Words: Tissue regeneration; hydrogel; scaffold; hyaluronic acid; recombinant gelatin.

Publication date: October 16th 2012

Abstract: An array of different types of hyaluronic acid (HA)- and collagen-based products is available for filling soft-tissue defects. A major drawback of the current soft-tissue fillers is their inability to induce cell infiltration and new tissue formation. Our aim is to develop novel biodegradable injectable gels which induce soft tissue regeneration, initially resulting in integration and finally replacement of the gel with new autologous tissue. Two reference gels of pure HA, monophasic HA-1 and micronised HA-2, were used. Furthermore, both gels were mixed with recombinant gelatin (RG) resulting in HA-1+RG and HA-2+RG. All gels were subcutaneously injected on the back of rats and explanted after 4 weeks. Addition of RG to HA-1 resulted in stroma formation (neovascularisation and ECM deposition) which was restricted to the outer rim of the HA-1+RG gel. In contrast, addition of RG to HA-2 induced stroma formation throughout the gel. The RG component of the gel was degraded by macrophages and giant cells and subsequently replaced by new vascularised tissue. Immunohistochemical staining showed that the extracellular matrix components collagen I and III were deposited throughout the gel. In conclusion, this study shows the proof of principle that addition of RG to HA-2 results in a novel injectable gel capable of inducing soft tissue regeneration. In this gel HA has a scaffold function whereas the RG component induces new tissue formation, resulting in proper vascularisation and integration of the HA-2+RG gel with the autologous tissue.

Article download: Pages 320-330 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v024a23