Determination of mechanical and rheological properties of a cell-loaded peptide gel during ECM production
Journal article, 2019

The development of an injectable biomaterial that supports cell survival and maintains or promotes nucleus pulposus (NP) phenotype could aid delivery of cells to degenerated NPs causing low back pain. Mesenchymal cells were loaded and grown in a synthetic peptide gel, PuraMatrix ® . Cells were observed within the gels over 0–28 days, and accumulation of glycosaminoglycans were detected by histological staining. The mechanical properties of the cell-loaded constructs, and the change of the mechanical properties were studied using stress relaxation of the gels under compression and confinement. The PuraMatrix ® gel was shown to relax fast on compression indicating that the fluid could easily flow out of the gel, and thus indicating the presence of large pores/voids. The presence of these pores/voids was further supported by high mobility of dextran molecules, determined using fluorescence recovery after photo bleaching. The stress required to deform the cell-loaded constructs to a specific strain increases at day 21, at which point the presence of glycosaminoglycans within the cell-loaded constructs was also observed. The results provide evidence of changes in mechanical properties of the PuraMatrix ® matrix upon excretion of the extracellular matrix by the cells.



Stress relaxation


Extracellular matrix



Helena Barreto Henriksson

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

M. Llorente

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

SuMo Biomaterials

Anette Larsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

SuMo Biomaterials

H. Brisby

University of Gothenburg

Julie Gold

Chalmers, Physics, Biological Physics

E. Schuster

SuMo Biomaterials

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Anna Ström

SuMo Biomaterials

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

International Journal of Pharmaceutics

0378-5173 (ISSN) 1873-3476 (eISSN)

Vol. 563 437-444

Subject Categories

Cell and Molecular Biology

Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)

Biomaterials Science





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