Free thiol groups on poly(aspartamide) based hydrogels facilitate tooth-derived progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation

Orsolya Hegedus, Dávid Juriga, Evelin Sipos, Constantinos Voniatis, Ákos Juhász, Abdenaccer Idrissi, Miklós Zrínyi, Gábor Varga, Angéla Jedlovszky-Hajdú, Krisztina S. Nagy

Research output: Article

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cell-based tissue reconstruction is an important field of regenerative medicine. Stem and progenitor cells derived from tooth-associated tissues have strong regeneration potential. However, their in vivo application requires the development of novel scaffolds that will provide a suitable three-dimensional (3D) environment allowing not only the survival of the cells but eliciting their proliferation and differentiation. Our aim was to study the viability and differentiation capacity of periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) cultured on recently developed biocompatible and biodegradable poly(aspartamide) (PASP)-based hydrogels. Viability and behavior of PDLCs were investigated on PASP-based hydrogels possessing different chemical, physical and mechanical properties. Based on our previous results, the effect of thiol group density in the polymer matrix on cell viability, morphology and differentiation ability is in the focus of our article. The chemical composition and 3D structures of the hydrogels were determined by FT Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Morphology of the cells was examined by phase contrast microscopy. To visualize cell growth and migration patterns through the hydrogels, two-photon microscopy were utilized. Cell viability analysis was performed according to a standardized protocol using WST-1 reagent. PDLCs were able to attach and grow on PASP-based hydrogels. An increase in gel stiffness enhanced adhesion and proliferation of the cells. However, the highest population of viable cells was observed on the PASP gels containing free thiol groups. The presence of thiol groups does not only enhance viability but also facilitates the osteogenic direction of the differentiating cells. These cell-gel structures seem to be highly promising for cell-based tissue reconstruction purposes in the field of regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0226363
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Hegedus, O., Juriga, D., Sipos, E., Voniatis, C., Juhász, Á., Idrissi, A., Zrínyi, M., Varga, G., Jedlovszky-Hajdú, A., & Nagy, K. S. (2019). Free thiol groups on poly(aspartamide) based hydrogels facilitate tooth-derived progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation. PloS one, 14(12), [e0226363].