Preparation of cell aggregates incorporating gelatin hydrogel microspheres of sugar-responsive water solubilization

Kanako Inoo, Masaya Yamamoto, Yasuhiko Tabata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study is to design hydrogel microspheres of a cell scaffold, which not only function as a scaffold to form cell aggregates of three-dimensional culture but also can disappear to release growth factors in the well-controlled manner by noncytotoxic stimulation in any timing. The hydrogel microspheres were prepared by a water-in-oil emulsion method from m-aminophenylboronic acid (APBA)-introduced gelatin (APBA–gelatin) with or without poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) mixing. Irrespective of the PVA concentration, the microspheres with the same diameter were prepared. The microspheres were water solubilized only by adding sorbitol of a sugar although the solubilization extent depended on the PVA concentration. When cocultured with the microspheres, mesenchymal stem cells formed cell aggregates homogeneously incorporating the microspheres. Upon adding sorbitol in the culture medium, mixed APBA–gelatin–PVA hydrogel microspheres disappeared with time in the cell aggregates. The microspheres containing basic fibroblast growth factor or bone morphogenetic protein-2 released the respective growth factor accompanied with the microspheres disappearance. It is concluded that the present microspheres of sugar-responsive water solubilization are promising scaffold of cell aggregates and have an ability to allow growth factors to be released in the cell aggregates when it is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1062
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • cell aggregates
  • cell scaffold
  • controlled release
  • growth factor
  • sugar-responsive gelatin hydrogel microspheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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