Influence of perfusion on metabolism and matrix production by bovine articular chondrocytes in hydrogel scaffolds

Xia Xu, Jill P G Urban, Uday Tirlapur, Min-Hsein Wu, Zheng Cui, Zhanfeng Cui
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2006 April 20, 93 (6): 1103-11
Articular cartilage has a limited capacity for self-repair after damage. Engineered cartilage is a promising treatment to replace or repair damaged tissue. The growth of engineered cartilage is sensitive to the extracellular culture environment. Chondrocytes were seeded into alginate beads and agarose scaffolds at 4 millions/mL, and the response to static and perfusion culture was examined over period of up to 12 days. For both types of scaffolds, the chondrocytes kept their differentiated morphology over 12 days in all culture conditions. In alginate beads, more glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) were produced in perfusion culture than in static conditions. GAG distribution in alginate constructs was more uniform in perfusion culture than in static culture. However, in agarose constructs there was no significant difference in GAG production between static culture and perfusion culture. Under perfusion culture, the retention rate of GAG in alginate was higher than in agarsoe. It is suggested that the positive effect of perfusion culture only can be achieved by an appropriate choice of other factors such as scaffold materials.

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