Cross-Linked Extra Cellular Matrix Polymers for Enzyme Detection
Proteoglycans are found throughout the body and serve numerous structural and functional roles. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) was modified to varying degrees with (meth)acrylate groups (CSMA) and polymerized to form a crosslinked hydrogel. Depending on the degree of modification, swelling, mechanical, and degradation properties of the CSMA hydrogels may be altered to fit a desired application. The CSMA gels are specifically degraded by chondroitinase and may be used as a diagnostic for the presence of chondroitinase, a degradative enzyme found in cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is found naturally in other parts of the body including the intervertebral disc and may therefore be useful as a biomaterial in numerous applications.
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