Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering


Era Jain

Second Advisor

Xiaoran Hu


3D scaffold;alginate;dithiol crosslinker;macroporous cryogels;poly(ethylene glycol)


Three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds are utilized in tissue engineering to address various unmet medical needs. Cryogels, are macroporous, crosslinked gel networks that are formed by gelation of precursor monomers/polymers under sub-zero conditions. Several studies demonstrate the potential of cryogels, as 3D scaffolds for culturing cells and controlled delivery of potent growth factors while improving upon limited porosity and restricted nutrient exchange that is characteristic of conventional hydrogels. Many current studies utilize free radical polymerization for designing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and alginate based cryogels resulting in formation of non-biodegradable networks. Here, we designed a hybrid double- network cryogel made of alginate and PEG network. The PEG network was formed via Michael addition reaction between multi-arm PEG-acrylate and dithiol crosslinkers to form ester linkages, contributing to a hydrolyzable PEG network. Simultaneously, the alginate network was formed via ionic crosslinking between the positively charged calcium ions and negatively charged alginate chains under subzero conditions, resulting in a final biodegradable hybrid- double network cryogel. Various parameters of these biodegradable cryogels, were adjusted to optimize cryogels physical properties for increasing their biocompatibility as the potential scaffold for cartilage regeneration engineering.

Available for download on Monday, August 04, 2025