Thesis defense: Tamiris Figueiredo

on the December 5, 2018

At 10:00 a.m.
Tamiris Figueiredo from Cermav will defend her thesis: "Injectable and self-healing polysaccharide hydrogels via boronate ester bonds: relationships between the binding mode of boronic acids to saccharide moieties and the macroscopic mechanical properties".
Injectable and self-healing hydrogels have recently drawn great attention in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Such gels can be pre-formed into syringes, be extruded under shear stress and show rapid recovery when the applied stress is removed due to the dynamic nature of their crosslinks. Given the exciting potential benefit of using boronic acid-containing polymers to construct dynamic covalent hydrogels, we explored this attractive strategy to design injectable boronate-crosslinked hydrogels based on hyaluronic acid (HA) for aesthetic and other biomedical applications. To design hydrogels with optimized properties, we investigated the effect of the nature of the boronic acid moiety as well as the sugar molecule grafted onto the HA backbone on the gel properties. Among arylboronic acid derivatives, benzoboroxole (BOR) was selected in addition to phenylboronic acid (PBA) as the binding site for sugar moieties grafted on HA. This choice was based on the efficient binding capability of BOR at neutral pH compared to PBA, and on its ability to complex glycopyranosides. With this study, we demonstrated that the dynamic rheological properties of the HA networks based on BOR- or PBA-saccharide complexation are closely linked to the molecular exchange dynamics and thermodynamics of the small molecule crosslinkers. Besides, we also established for the first time the feasibility of self-crosslinking HA hydrogels with extremely slow dynamics at physiological pH through multivalent interactions between BOR derivatives grafted on HA and diols from the polysaccharide chains. Finally, in addition to BOR, we demonstrated the unprecedented capacity of its six-membered ring homologue, benzoxaborin, and a new original benzoxaborin-like derivative as new carbohydrate binding sites for the formation of reversible HA networks. Taking into account the injectable, self-healing and stimuli-responsive properties showed by these new HA hydrogels, these biomaterials appear as promising injectable scaffolds for many innovative applications in the biomedical field, including in tissue engineering and cell therapy.

Published on November 27, 2018

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