Effect of Viscous Injectable Pure Alginate Sol on Cultured Fibroblasts

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Alginates have a wide variety of potential clinical applications, including use in cell encapsulation, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. Although the compounds are typically used in the form of a calcium hydrogel, alginates in this form possess several disadvantages, including low biodegradability, induction of foreign body reactions, and cytotoxicity secondary to Ca2+ efflux and contamination with bioincompatible substances. Thus, the goal of the present study was to develop a new method of obtaining sterilized, pure, highly viscous alginate sol from seaweed alginates and to determine its utility as an injectable antiadhesion drug.


Viscous injectable pure alginate sol was produced from a commercially available sodium alginate, and its molecular and physical characteristics were analyzed. The biological properties of the viscous injectable pure alginate sol were analyzed using cultured fibroblasts prepared from the dorsal skin of neonatal rats to determine its biocompatibility and its effects on cell proliferation, cell migration, and collagen lattice contraction.


The mannuronic acid–to–glucuronic acid ratio of viscous injectable pure alginate sol, as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance studies, was 1.2, and its viscosity at 5 percent was 17,800 mPa. Purification used to produce viscous injectable pure alginate sol decreased contamination by insoluble particles by 20 percent and decreased polyphenol concentration by 17 percent. In vitro analyses with cultured fibroblasts demonstrated that viscous injectable pure alginate sol had excellent biodegradability and biocompatibility and that viscous injectable pure alginate sol inhibited fibroblast proliferation and migration. Furthermore, assessment of collagen contraction with floating fibroblast-loaded collagen lattices indicated that viscous injectable pure alginate sol enhanced wound healing in surrounding connective tissues.


The authors conclude that viscous injectable pure alginate sol can inhibit scar formation by presenting a physical barrier to invading fibroblasts and by enhancing wound healing of surrounding tissues.

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