Poly-ε-caprolactone/gel hybrid scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering

J. C. Schagemann, H. W. Chung, E. H. Mrosek, J. J. Stone, J. S. Fitzsimmons, S. W. O'Driscoll, G. G. Reinholz


The aim of this study was to determine the suitability of hybrid scaffolds composed of naturally derived biopolymer gels and macroporous poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) scaffolds for neocartilage formation in vitro. Rabbit articular chondrocytes were seeded into PCL/HA (1 wt % hyaluronan), PCL/CS (0.5 wt % chitosan), PCL/ F (1:3 fibrin sealant plus aprotinin), and PCL/COL1 (0.24% type I collagen) hybrids and cultured statically for up to 50 days. Growth characteristics were evaluated by histological analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Neocartilage was quantified using a dimethyl-methylene blue assay for sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for type II collagen (COL2), normalized to dsDNA content by fluorescent PicoGreen assay. Chondrocytes were homogenously distributed throughout the entire scaffold and exhibited a predominantly spheroidal shape 1 h after being seeded into scaffolds. Immunofluorescence depicted expanding proteoglycan deposition with time. The sGAG per dsDNA increased in all hybrids between days 25 and 50. PCL/ HA scaffolds consistently promoted highest yields. In contrast, total sGAG and total COL2 decreased in all hybrids except PCL/CS, which favored increasing values and a significantly higher total COL2 at day 50. Overall, dsDNA content decreased significantly with time, and particularly between days 3 and 6. The PCL/HA hybrid displayed two proliferation peaks at days 3 and 25, and PCL/COL1 displayed one proliferation peak at day 12. The developed hybrids provided distinct short-term environments for implanted chondrocytes, with not all of them being explicitly beneficial (PCL/F, PCL/COL1). The PCL/HA and PCL/CS hybrids, however, promoted specific neocartilage formation and initial cell retention and are thus promising for cartilage tissue engineering. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Number of pages10
Publication date05.2010
ISBN (Print)1552-4965
Publication statusPublished - 05.2010


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