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Agarose Gel As Biomaterial Or Scaffold For Implantation Surgery: Characterization, Histological And Histomorphometric Study On Soft Tissue Response

Elena Maria Varoni, Matilde Tschon, Barbara Palazzo, Paola Nitti, Lúcia Martini, Lia Rimondini
Published 2012 · Medicine, Biology
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Maxillofacial, orthopedic, oral, and plastic surgery require materials for tissue augmentation, guided regeneration, and tissue engineering approaches. In this study, the aim was to develop and characterize a new extrudable hydrogel, based on agarose gel (AG; 1.5% wt) and to evaluate the local effects after subcutaneous implantation in comparison with collagen and hyaluronic acid. AG chemical–physical properties were ascertained through Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and rheological analysis. In vivo subcutaneous implants were performed, and histological and histomorphometric evaluations were done at 1, 4, 12, and 16 weeks. FT-IR confirmed that spectroscopic properties were the same for the baseline agarose and rheological characterization established that AG is a weak hydrogel. Subcutaneous AG implants induced new vessels and fibrous tissue formation rich in neutrophils; the capsule thickness around AG increased until the 12th week but remained thinner than those around hyaluronic acid and collagen. At 16 weeks, the thickness of the capsule significantly decreased around all materials. This study confirmed that 1.5% wt AG possesses some of the most important features of the ideal biocompatible material: safety, effectiveness, costless, and easily obtained with specific chemical and geometrical characters; the AG can represent a finely controllable and biodegradable polymeric system for cells and drug delivery applications.
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