Doctoral allowance, 3 years, 2018-1
Team: Chimie Moléculaire, Macromoléculaire et Matériaux / Center of Materials – Mines ParisTech
Project leader: Laurent Corté
To stimulate the regeneration of damaged tissues, injectable cell-laden hydrogels are highly attractive delivery vehicles. They can be non-invasively administrated and fill in defects in hardly accessible and fragile tissues and organs like brain or spine. In those applications, the hydrogel aims at providing a temporary scaffold to injected cells, often stem cells, to maintain their viability, stimulate their differentiation and their regenerative activity. However, in most of the systems that have been developed hitherto, injected cells end up being trapped in the gel and their activity is strongly hindered. Here we will investigate a new strategy by designing injectable thermosensitive hydrogels where a controlled porosity is formed in situ in the presence of cells, at the same time as the sol-gel transition takes place.
The project involves challenging experimental work to synthesize and characterize hydrogels, manage crucial parameters as gelling time, gel porosity, biodegradability, as well as more fundamental studies to understand processes and design the hydrogel nature and gelation mechanism adapted to specific in vivo applications.