Bioinspired Heparin Nanosponge Prepared by Photo-crosslinking for Controlled Release of Growth Factors

Won Il Choi, Abhishek Sahu, Cristian Vilos, Nazila Kamaly, Seong Min Jo, Jin Hyung Lee, Giyoong Tae

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Growth factors have great therapeutic potential for various disease therapy and tissue engineering applications. However, their clinical efficacy is hampered by low bioavailability, rapid degradation in vivo and non-specific biodistribution. Nanoparticle based delivery systems are being evaluated to overcome these limitations. Herein, we have developed a thermosensitive heparin nanosponge (Hep-NS) by a one step photopolymerization reaction between diacrylated pluronic and thiolated heparin molecules. The amount of heparin in Hep-NS was precisely controlled by varying the heparin amount in the reaction feed. Hep-NS with varying amounts of heparin showed similar size and shape properties, though surface charge decreased with an increase in the amount of heparin conjugation. The anticoagulant activity of the Hep-NS decreased by 65% compared to free heparin, however the Hep-NS retained their growth factor binding ability. Four different growth factors, bFGF, VEGF, BMP-2, and HGF were successfully encapsulated into Hep-NS. In vitro studies showed sustained release of all the growth factors for almost 60 days and the rate of release was directly dependent on the amount of heparin in Hep-NS. The released growth factors retained their bioactivity as assessed by a cell proliferation assay. This heparin nanosponge is therefore a promising nanocarrier for the loading and controlled release of growth factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14351
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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