Previously we demonstrated that chondrocyte ECM synthesis and mitotic activity was dependent on scaffold composition when cultured on uncoated PCL scaffolds (pPCL) or PCL composites containing hyaluronan (PCL/HA), chitosan (PCL/CS), fibrin (PCL/F), or collagen type I (PCL/COL1). We hypothesized that initial cell contact with these biomaterials results in ultrastructural changes and alters CD44 and integrin beta1 expression. The current study was designed to investigate the early ultrastructural responses of chondrocytes on these scaffolds and expression of CD44 and integrin beta1. A common observation 1 h after seeding was the abundance of cell processes. Different types of cell processes occurred in different areas of the same cell and on different cells within the same composite. Chondrocytes seeded onto PCL/CS had the greatest cell surface enhancement. PCL/HA promoted CD44 expression and almost spherical cells with a low degree of surface enhancement. PCL/COL1 enabled continuing expression of integrin beta1 and CD44. In contrast, cells in PCL/CS, PCL/F and pPCL promoted elliptic cells with a higher degree of surface enhancement and no prolonged CD44 and integrin beta1 expression. A strong variability of cell surface processes indicated either reparative or degenerative adaptation to the artificial environment. Interestingly, we found initial integrin beta1 expression in all composite scaffolds, but not in pPCL although this promoted strong adhesiveness as indicated by the formation of stress fibers. In conclusion, chondrocytes respond to biomaterials early after implantation by altering ultrastructural characteristics and expression of CD44 and integrin beta1.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 01.04.2010|