Multiphasic collagen fibre-PLA composites seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells for osteochondral defect repair: an in vitro study

A Heymer, G Bradica, J Eulert, U Nöth
Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 2009, 3 (5): 389-97
A promising approach for the repair of osteochondral defects is the use of a scaffold with a well-defined cartilage-bone interface. In this study, we used a multiphasic composite scaffold with an upper collagen I fibre layer for articular cartilage repair, separated by a hydrophobic interface from a lower polylactic acid (PLA) part for bone repair. Focusing initially on the engineering of cartilage, the upper layer was seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) suspended in a collagen I hydrogel for homogeneous cell distribution. The constructs were cultured in a defined chondrogenic differentiation medium supplemented with 10 ng/ml transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGFbeta1) or in DMEM with 10% fetal bovine serum as a control. After 3 weeks a slight contraction of the collagen I fibre layer was seen in the TGFbeta1-treated group. Furthermore, a homogeneous cell distribution and chondrogenic differentiation was achieved in the upper third of the collagen I fibre layer. In the TGFbeta1-treated group cells showed a chondrocyte-like appearance and were surrounded by a proteoglycan and collagen type II-rich extracellular matrix. Also, a high deposition of glycosaminoglycans could be measured in this group and RT-PCR analyses confirmed the induction of chondrogenesis, with the expression of cartilage-specific marker genes, such as aggrecan and collagen types II and X. This multiphasic composite scaffold with the cartilage layer on top might be a promising construct for the repair of osteochondral defects.

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