The aim of this study is to optimize enzymatic control over gelation of chitosan-based hydrogels for the delivery of periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs). The results reveal that the gelation time, strength, and degradation rate of the chitosan hydrogels can be controlled precisely by variation of the urea and urease concentrations. PDLCs remain viable inside these hydrogels for up to 30 days. Cells released from the hydrogel upon degradation and collected after 3, 15, and 30 days are able to form colonies and osteogenically differentiate. In conclusion, the enzymatic control over the gelation of chitosan hydrogels offers options for the delivery of PDLCs. Physically crosslinked chitosan hydrogels for biomedical purpose can be easily fabricated via enzymatic control. The gelation time, strength, and degradation rate of chitosan hydrogels can be fine-tuned through variation of the concentrations of urea and urease. Periodontal ligament cells remain viable and maintain their capacities upon encapsulation within these hydrogels for up to 30 days.
- cell encapsulation