Development of a 3-Dimensional Fat Model Using Alginate Hydrogels.
Judith, Jacqueline Elizabeth.
- In 2010, more than 35.7% of U.S. adults were considered obese . With obesity comes increased risk for conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes . To combat obesity, more needs to be known about the process of adiposity, the excessive expansion of adipose tissue. As of now, adiposity has been studied through both in vivo and in vitro studies. In vivo studies however, are challenged ... read moreby numerous uncontrolled factors, which has lead to incon- sistent results [8, 12, 20, 41]. Traditional tissue culture plastic, however, is a vastly different system than found in vivo which has shown to cause discrepancies in morphological features and gene expression when compared to adipocytes in vivo . o address these limitations of current in vitro models, we developed a 3-dimensional cul- ture system that allows for study of adipogenesis in more physiological conditions. Alginate hydrogels are promising as the cells are easily incorporated into the gels, and allow for control of the mechanical properties by altering crosslinking parameters . Our studies have shown some affect of scaffold modulus on cell differentiation, as well as a strong effect of cells bind- ing to the scaffold through RGD functionalization. Our gels also showed an ability to function as an adipogenesis model without the need for pre-differentiation. This alginate hydrogel model was also used to begin studying the effects of obesogens, a group of chemicals thought to promote obesity, through studies involving the introduction of TBT into the medium. Over- all, alginate hydrogels have proven to be very valuable as a 3-dimensional model, our current studies having possibly discovered new directions for the study and understanding of adipogenesis.read less