We synthesized poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) gel containing cell-adhesive peptides, RGDS pendants, and crosslinked by a hydrophilic polymer. Since gelation occurs by simply mixing the polymers, cells can be simultaneously encapsulated inside the gel during gelation. This gel has roughly a 15% volume change between 25 and 37°C, and is transparent at both temperatures. Moreover, adhesion of encapsulated C2C12 cells to the gel could be observed. This thermoresponsive gel would be potentially useful as a cell culture material that can control cell fate by changing mechanical properties of the cell's external environment.
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