The ability to genetically modify cells seeded inside synthetic hydrogel scaffolds offers a suitable approach to induce and control tissue repair and regeneration guiding cell fate. In fact the transfected cells can act as local in vivo bioreactor, secreting plasmid encoded proteins that augment tissue regeneration processes. We have realized a DNA bioactivated high porous poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) matrix by polyethyleneimine (PEI)/DNA complexes adsorption. As the design of the microarchitectural features of a scaffold also contributes to promote and influence cell fate, we appropriately designed the inner structure of gene activated PEG hydrogels by gelatine microparticles templating. Microarchitectural properties of the scaffold were analysed by scanning electron microscopy. 3D cell migration and transfection were monitored through time-lapse videomicroscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy.
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