An initial evaluation of gellan gum as a material for tissue engineering applications

AM Smith, Richard Shelton, Y Perrie, Jonathan Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

127 Citations (Scopus)


Alpha-modified minimum essential medium (alphaMEM) has been found to cross-link a 1% gellan gum solution, resulting in the formation of a self-supporting hydrogel in 1:1 and 5:1 ratios of polysaccharide: alphaMEM. Rheological data from temperature sweeps confirm that in addition to orders of magnitude differences in G' between 1% gellan and 1% gellan with alphaMEM, there is also a 20 degrees C increase in the temperature at which the onset of gelation takes place when alphaMEM is present. Frequency sweeps confirm the formation of a true gel; mechanical spectra for mixtures of gellan and alphaMEM clearly demonstrate G' to be independent of frequency. It is possible to immobilize cells within a three-dimensional (3D) gellan matrix that remain viable for up to 21 days in culture by adding a suspension of rat bone marrow cells (rBMC) in alphaMEM to 1% gellan solution. This extremely simple approach to cell immobilization within 3D constructs, made possible by the fact that gellan solutions cross-link in the presence of millimolar concentrations of cations, poses a very low risk to a cell population immobilized within a gellan matrix and thus indicates the potential of gellan for use as a tissue engineering scaffold.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-54
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jan 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007


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