The mechanical and biomechanical properties of the cell's extracellular matrix is a factor in their later development. In this regard, elastic biocompatible materials as a surface for cultivating cells are in recent years, becoming an exciting field of study. Hydrogels are a hydrophilic 3D network of synthetic polymers or biopolymers. They can have tunable mechanical properties, controllable degradability, or they can be designed for long-time release of treatments. Here, hydrogels from Hyaluronic acid (HA), Bovine serum albumin (BSA) and gelatin was prepared, via carbodiimide chemistry. Morphology and mechanical properties of these hydrogels was characterized via Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Young's modulus of HA/BSA and HA/BSA/gel were 124.7 ± 15.9 and 20.3 ± 0.5 kPa, respectively. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts were then cultivated on hydrogels and on the glass surface as a reference. Mechanical and morphological properties of fibroblasts were examined by AFM and via phalloidin-TRITC staying. Relationship between the structure of cells and the type of surface was seen. Cells grown on glass were more flattened with an evenly linear actin structure. On hydrogels, fibroblasts were more star-shaped with non-linear actin structures and many filopodia. Furthermore, height of cells was higher was lower compared to cells on both types of hydrogels (0.36 µm vs. 0.56 µm vs. 1.03 µm). Young's modulus of cells on fibroblast was highest, which relates to the whole range of structural changes linked with surface stiffness. In conclusion, this type of hydrogel might be utilized in the future as a better surface material for cell cultivation.Keywords: AFM, Hydrogel, Actin structure, hyaluronic acid
© This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.