Bradley D. Hann1, Kevin M. Bennett2
1School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering , Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States; 2School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States
To facilitate the development of hydrogel scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications, we have developed a technique to monitor the changes in hydrogel structure caused by cellular or enzymatic degradation in a biocompatible, hyaluronic acid/collagen hydrogel. Changes in macromolecular structure of hydrogels result in changes in aggregation state of bound iron oxide nanoparticles. We report T2 changes during enzymatic and cellular degradation that correlate with ultrastructural change measured with electron microscopy. Hydrogels are also detected in vivo with MRI.