Poly(amido-amine)-based hydrogels with tailored mechanical properties and degradation rates for tissue engineering

Federico Martello, Alessandro Tocchio, Margherita Tamplenizza, Irini Gerges, Valentina Pistis, Rossella Recenti, Monica Bortolin, Massimo Del Fabbro, Simona Argentiere, Paolo Milani, Cristina Lenardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poly(amido-amine) (PAA) hydrogels containing the 2,2-bisacrylamidoacetic acid-4-amminobutyl guanidine monomeric unit have a known ability to enhance cellular adhesion by interacting with the arginin-glycin-aspartic acid (RGD)-binding αVβ3 integrin, expressed by a wide number of cell types. Scientific interest in this class of materials has traditionally been hampered by their poor mechanical properties and restricted range of degradation rate. Here we present the design of novel biocompatible, RGD-mimic PAA-based hydrogels with wide and tunable degradation rates as well as improved mechanical and biological properties for biomedical applications. This is achieved by radical polymerization of acrylamide-terminated PAA oligomers in both the presence and absence of 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate. The degradation rate is found to be precisely tunable by adjusting the PAA oligomer molecular weight and acrylic co-monomer concentration in the starting reaction mixture. Cell adhesion and proliferation tests on Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells show that PAA-based hydrogels have the capacity to promote cell adhesion up to 200% compared to the control. Mechanical tests show higher compressive strength of acrylic chain containing hydrogels compared to traditional PAA hydrogels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1215
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Biomimetics
  • Hydrogels
  • Structure-property relationship
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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