The development of hydrogels tailored for cartilage tissue engineering has been a research and clinical goal for over a decade. Directing cells towards a chondrogenic phenotype and promoting new matrix formation are significant challenges that must be overcome for the successful application of hydrogels in cartilage tissue therapies. Gelatin-methacrylamide (Gel-MA) hydrogels have shown promise for the repair of some tissues, but have not been extensively investigated for cartilage tissue engineering. We encapsulated human chondrocytes in Gel-MA-based hydrogels, and show that with the incorporation of small quantities of photocrosslinkable hyaluronic acid methacrylate (HA-MA), and to a lesser extent chondroitin sulfate methacrylate (CS-MA), chondrogenesis and mechanical properties can be enhanced. The addition of HA-MA to Gel-MA constructs resulted in more rounded cell morphologies, enhanced chondrogenesis as assessed by gene expression and immunofluorescence, and increased quantity and distribution of the newly synthesized extracellular matrix (ECM) throughout the construct. Consequently, while the compressive moduli of control Gel-MA constructs increased by 26 kPa after 8 weeks culture, constructs with HA-MA and CS-MA increased by 114 kPa. The enhanced chondrogenic differentiation, distribution of ECM, and improved mechanical properties make these materials potential candidates for cartilage tissue engineering applications. (C) 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Cartilage tissue engineering
- Hyaluronic acid
- AUTOLOGOUS CHONDROCYTE IMPLANTATION
- MESENCHYMAL STEM-CELLS
- PEG HYDROGELS
- CHONDROGENIC DIFFERENTIATION
- ZONAL CHONDROCYTES
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- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Associate Professor
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering - Associate Professor
Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)