Feng-Huei Lin (double)

Institute of Biomed Eng & Nanomed, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Intervertebral disc degeneration usually starts at the nucleus pulposus. In the past decades, several techniques and prosthetics (artificial disc) have been developed to regenerate or replace the nucleus pulposus. However, these kind of pre-formed devices have to remove the nucleus pulposus and then replace an artificial one to relief the symptom of intervertebral disc degeneration. Recently, cell-based tissue engineering provides a rational approach to regenerate active nucleus pulposus cells (NP cells) to restore intervertebral disc architecture and function. However, the source of autologous nucleus pulposus cells are limited and their functional state does not favor regeneration. Besides, nucleus pulposus cells grown in monolayer may result in fibroblast-like transformation. Thus, the 3D hydrogel co-culture system maybe an alternative method to provide an adequate environment for nucleus pulposus cells proliferation, extracellular matrix production, cytokines secretion.

Human vitreous is a gelatinous substance that is predominantly composed of collagen fibril, hyaluronic acid (HA) and water (97–99%). Vitreous substitutes are needed to tamponade the detached retina after vitrectomy when treating retinal detachments. However, several drawbacks associated with current vitreous substitutes have been reported. In the present study, we developed a colorless, transparent and injectable hydrogel as a vitreous substitute that was formed by oxidated HA (oxi-HA) and adipic acid dihydrazide (ADH). The results of biodegradation demonstrated that the hydrogel could maintain its gel matrix over at least 35 days depending on the ADH concentration. In addition, the biocompatibility was evaluated on a retina pigmented epithelium (RPE) cell culture following ISO 10993-5 (tests for in vitro cytotoxicity), and the hydrogel was found to be nontoxic. This study suggested that the injectable oxi-HA/ADH hydrogel could fulfill many critical elements that are desirable in vitreous substitutes.