[Experimental study of tissue engineered cartilage construction using oriented scaffold combined with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in vivo]

Wei Duan, Hu Da, Wentao Wang, Shangjun Lü, Zhuo Xiong, Jian Liu
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2013, 27 (5): 513-9

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility of fabricating an oriented scaffold combined with chondrogenic-induced bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) for enhancement of the biomechanical property of tissue engineered cartilage in vivo.

METHODS: Temperature gradient-guided thermal-induced phase separation was used to fabricate an oriented cartilage extracellular matrix-derived scaffold composed of microtubules arranged in parallel in vertical section. No-oriented scaffold was fabricated by simple freeze-drying. Mechanical property of oriented and non-oriented scaffold was determined by measurement of compressive modulus. Oriented and non-oriented scaffolds were seeded with chondrogenic-induced BMSCs, which were obtained from the New Zealand white rabbits. Proliferation, morphological characteristics, and the distribution of the cells on the scaffolds were analyzed by MTT assay and scanning electron microscope. Then cell-scaffold composites were implanted subcutaneously in the dorsa of nude mice. At 2 and 4 weeks after implantation, the samples were harvested for evaluating biochemical, histological, and biomechanical properties.

RESULTS: The compressive modulus of oriented scaffold was significantly higher than that of non-oriented scaffold (t=201.099, P=0.000). The cell proliferation on the oriented scaffold was significantly higher than that on the non-oriented scaffold from 3 to 9 days (P < 0.05). At 4 weeks, collagen type II immunohistochemical staining, safranin O staining, and toluidine blue staining showed positive results in all samples, but negative for collagen type I. There were numerous parallel giant bundles of densely packed collagen fibers with chondrocyte-like cells on the oriented-structure constructs. Total DNA, glycosaminoglycan (GAG), and collagen contents increased with time, and no significant difference was found between 2 groups (P > 0.05). The compressive modulus of the oriented tissue engineered cartilage was significantly higher than that of the non-oriented tissue engineered cartilage at 2 and 4 weeks after implantation (P < 0.05). Total DNA, GAG, collagen contents, and compressive modulus in the 2 tissue engineered cartilages were significantly lower than those in normal cartilage (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Oriented extracellular matrix-derived scaffold can enhance the biomechanical property of tissue engineered cartilage and thus it represents a promising approach to cartilage tissue engineering.

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