미래를 창조하는 포스텍 화학공학과
Adipose tissue engineering represents a valuable alternative for reconstructive and cosmetic applications to restore soft tissue loss. Herein, for the development of a tissue-engineered adipose substitute, we designed an injectable thermoresponsive tissue adhesive hydrogel by grafting bioengineered mussel adhesive protein (MAP) with poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and incorporating decellularized adipose tissue (DAT) powder as a biochemical cue. The body temperature-activated PNIPAM-grafted MAP (MAP-PNIPAM) hydrogel showed 3.2-times higher water retention ability, high porosity, and 8.4-times stronger tissue adhesive properties compared to the PNIPAM gel alone with pore collapse. Moreover, we found that the introduction of 5 wt% DAT powder had adipo-inductive and adipo-conductive effects, which might be due to the provision of biochemical substrates enriched in collagen and laminin for cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. In vivo subcutaneous injection of the adipose-derived stem cell-laden DAT-incorporated MAP-PNIPAM hydrogel further demonstrated better volume maintenance, angiogenesis, and lipid accumulation than control injectable alginate gel or DAT powder only. Collectively, our injectable body temperature-activated tissue adhesive MAP-PNIPAM hydrogel system with a decellularized extracellular matrix source can be utilized as a promising alternative for tissue-specific regenerative stem cell therapy.