Gellan Gum-based Hydrogels Support the Recreation of the Dermal Papilla Microenvironment

last updated: 2023-10-03
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TitleGellan Gum-based Hydrogels Support the Recreation of the Dermal Papilla Microenvironment
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsAbreu C. M., Lago M. E. L., Pires J., Reis R. L., da Silva L. P., and Marques A. P.

The dermal papilla (DP), a specialized compartment within the hair follicle, regulates hair growth. However, human DP cells rapidly lose their inductivity in 2D-culture given the loss of positional and microenvironmental cues. Spheroids have been capable of recreating the 3D intercellular organization of DP cells, however, DP cell-matrix interactions are poorly represented. Considering the specific nature of the DP's extracellular matrix (ECM), we functionalized gellan gum (GG) with collagen IV-(HepIII) or fibronectin-(cRGDfC) derived peptide sequences to generate a 3D environment in which the phenotype and physiological functions of DP cells are restored. We further tuned the stiffness of the microenvironments by varying GG amount. Biomimetic peptides in stiffer hydrogels promoted the adhesion of DP cells, while each peptide and amount of polymer independently influenced the type and quantity of ECM proteins deposited. Furthermore, although peptides did not seem to have an influence, stiffer hydrogels improved the inductive capacity of DP cells after short term culture. Interestingly, independently of the peptide, these hydrogels supported the recapitulation of basic hair morphogenesis-like events when incorporated in an organotypic human skin in vitro model. Our work demonstrates that tailored GG hydrogels support the generation of a microenvironment in which both cell-ECM and cell-cell interactions positively influence DP cells towards the creation of an artificial DP.

JournalBiomaterials Advances
Date Published2023-04-20
Keywordsdermal papilla, Gellan Gum, hair follicle
Peer reviewedyes

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