Jürgen Groll
Jürgen Groll, Ph.D.
Professor,
Chair for Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry,
University Hospital Wuerzburg,
Pleicherwall 2, D-97070 Wuerzburg
Phone: +49(0)931 201-73610; Fax: +49(0)931 201-73500
Website: http://fmz.uni-wuerzburg.de/
Email: juergen.groll@fmz.uni-wuerzburg.de

Biography:

Prof. Groll received his Ph.D. from the RWTH Aachen University with summa com laude in 2005. From 2005 to 2009, he worked in industry in the field of functional coatings and biocomposite materials. In parallel, he built up a research group on polymeric biomaterials at the DWI Interactive Materials Research Institute in Aachen. Since 2010 he holds the chair for Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Würzburg.

His research interest comprises applied polymer chemistry for life sciences, biomimetic scaffolds, immunomodulation, nanobiotechnology, and biofabrication. Within biofabrication, he coordinates the large European integrated project HydroZONES that focuses on the printing of layered constructs for cartilage regeneration. Since 2014, he also holds the ERC consolidator grant Design2Heal that concerns the evaluation of design criteria for immunomodulatory scaffolds.

He is board member of the international society for biofabrication, editorial board member of the journal Biofabrication and advisory board member of the journal Advanced Biosystems. His work has been recognized by several awards such as the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award 2009, the Reimund-Stadler award of the Division of Macromolecular Chemistry of the German Chemical Society in 2010 and the Unilever Prize of the Polymer Networks Group in 2014.


Abstract:

Advantages of thiol-ene crosslinking to generate platform-bioinks and control the behavior of drug vectors

Biofabrication is a new field of research where cells are fabricated together with materials in automated processes to 3D constructs with stratified organization [1]. Lately, the need for a broader variety of bioinks has generated considerable research interest [2]. We have in this context explored physically cross-linked hydrogels [3] that have advantageous rheological properties for printing, but lack sufficient stability post-fabrication for practical handling. Thus, post-processing stabilization is importnant, which is usually obtained by free radical polymerization. We have shown that the well-known photo-induced thiol-ene dimerization reaction can be applied for bioinks if multifunctional polymeric precursors are used [4, 5]. The advantage of thiol-ene crosslinking is that the resulting network is more homogeneous and can be tuned by the molecular architecture and degree of functionality of the molecular precursors.

Especially the post-fabrication behavior of bioinks is more and more in the focus of bioink development. Aside the pure printability, a control of drug loading into and release from bioinks is for example of interest in order to accelerate tissue maturation or for drug testing. This may be achieved by supplementation of bioinks with nanoparticulate drug vectors. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) for example can be loaded with drugs and designed to only release their payload after cell internalization in a specific manner [6].

To explore this possibility, we used MSN with diameters of 350 nm as well as gold nanoparticles with a diameter of 30 nm as model systems. Both particle types were prepared with either positive or negative surface charge and formulated into a thiol-ene clickable bioink comprising negatively charged Hyaluronic acid [7]. Rheological experiments show that both particle types can be supplemented in concentrations up to 10 mg/mL without affecting printability. Our data quantitatively shows that electrostatic interactions can be used to control the migration and release behavior of nanoparticles in and from printed hydrogels, and the subsequent uptake by cells.

These results display a promising approach towards the local and temporal control of drug vectors in Biofabrication through a combination of bioink development with nanotechnology
using a generic principle.

References:
1. Groll J, et al. Biofabrication 2016;8: 013001.
2. Jungst T, et al. Chem. Rev. 2016;116:1496–1539
3. Schacht K, et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015;54:2816–2820.
4. Stichler S, et al. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 2017;45:273-285.
5. Stichler S, et al. Macromol. Symp. 2017;372(1):102–107.
6. Bocking D, et al. Nanoscale 2014;6:1490-1498.
7. Baumann B, et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017;56:4623-4628.



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