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Induction of zonal-specific cellular morphology and matrix synthesis for biomimetic cartilage regeneration using hybrid scaffolds.




Cartilage is anisotropic in nature and organized into distinct zones. Our goal was to develop zonal-specific three-dimensional hybrid scaffolds which could induce the generation of zonal-specific cellular morphology and extracellular matrix (ECM) composition. The superficial and middle zones comprised two layers of hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel which enveloped specifically orientated or randomly arranged polylactic acid nanofibre meshes. The deep zone comprised a HA hydrogel with multiple vertical channels. Primary bovine chondrocytes were seeded into the individual zonal scaffolds, cultured for 14 days and then the ECM was analysed. The aligned nanofibre mesh used in the superficial zone induced an elongated cell morphology, lower glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and collagen II production, and higher cell proliferation and collagen I production than the cells in the middle zone scaffold. Within the middle zone scaffold, which comprised a randomly orientated nanofibre mesh, the cells were clustered and expressed more collagen II. The deep zone scaffold induced the highest GAG production, the lowest cell proliferation and the lowest collagen I expression of the three zones. Assembling the three zones and stabilizing the arrangement with a HA hydrogel generated aligned, randomly aggregated and columnar cells in the superficial, middle and deep zones. This study presents a method to induce zonal-specific chondrocyte morphology and ECM production.

Acceptance Date Jun 5, 2018
Publication Date Jun 27, 2018
Journal Interface
Publisher The Royal Society
Keywords extracellular matrix, chondrocyte morphology, cartilage regeneration, hybrid scaffolds, zonal structure
Publisher URL