(562a) Graduate Student Award Session: Polymer Nanoparticle Hydrogels for Improved Cell Transplantation | AIChE

(562a) Graduate Student Award Session: Polymer Nanoparticle Hydrogels for Improved Cell Transplantation


Grosskopf, A. - Presenter, Stanford University
Roth, G. A., Stanford Unversity
Appel, E. A., Stanford Unversity
Mann, J., Stanford University
Lopez Hernandez, H., Stanford University
Gale, E., Stanford University
Correa, S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hydrogels have become impactful delivery tools for biomedical applications in regenerative
medicine, cancer therapy, and immunology. Both precise engineering of hydrogels to
yield distinct rheological properties and controlled presentation of cellular signals in
hydrogels can enable advances in cell delivery strategies and therapies. Polymer-
Nanoparticle (PNP) hydrogels are a novel type of injectable gel composed of modified
cellulose and degradable PEG-PLA nanoparticles. These components interact to form a
completely physical hydrogel network. PNP hydrogels are highly biocompatible and
degrade over time in the body making them favorable for biomedical applications. In this
talk, I will discuss both the fundamental material and mechanical properties of PNP
hydrogels and then highlight how PNP hydrogels can be used as a promising material
for cell therapies. I will examine the rheological properties with shear and extensional
rheology, exploring how modifications to these complex interactions may lead to unique
dynamic responses, such an shear-thinning, self-healing, extreme extensibility and yield
stress behavior. I will then present how PNP hydrogels can be applied to a range of
diverse impactful applications including enhanced delivery of human mesenchymal
stem cells and improved immunotherapies. I demonstrate many advantages to using
PNP hydrogels over saline injections for delivering therapeutic cells, such as preventing
cell sedimentation and aggregation in the syringe, minimizing cell membrane damage in
syringe needle flow during injection, and prolonged cell retention at the injection site
after delivery. Co-delivery of slow-diffusing molecules with cells in engineered PNP
hydrogels can allow for localized interactions and high efficacy treatments. We present
both in vitro and in vivo experiments to validate the utility of PNP hydrogels in
enhancing cell delivery. Overall this presentation will demonstrate that dynamic
biomaterials enable unique opportunities in biomedicine.