Amidic alginate hydrogel for nucleus pulposus replacement

Gemma Leone, Paola Torricelli, Antonio Chiumiento, Alessandro Facchini, Rolando Barbucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Degeneration of intervertebral discs is the most common cause of back pain. The first phase of this degenerative process involves the nucleus pulposus (NP). A rapid recovery of this structure can prevent further degradation of the annulus fibrosus. A new amidic derivative of alginate (AAA) was developed to obtain a polysaccharide possessing some of the physical-chemical properties of Hyal (i.e. viscosity) without losing the rigidity of the native alginate structure. The modified polysaccharide was crosslinked using 1.3 diaminopropane as crosslinking agent. The hydrogel obtained was characterized in terms of water uptake and rheological behavior. In particular, the viscoelastic behavior of the hydrogel was determined in shear stress under dynamic conditions and compared with the behavior of nondegenerated human lumbar NP. We then assessed the effect of the AAA hydrogel on NHC (Normal Human Chondrocyte) cell viability and on the production of important extracellular matrix factors, such as glycosaminoglycans and Type II collagen. In conclusion, the results achieved in this study demonstrated that the amidic alginate-based scaffold is a promising material to be utilized in the replacement of NP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • Amidic alginate
  • Hydrogel
  • Nucleus pulposus
  • Rheology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials

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