An injectable cross-linked scaffold for nucleus pulposus regeneration
Incorporation of scaffolds has long been recognized as a critical element in most tissue engineering strategies. However with regard to intervertebral disc tissue engineering, the use of a scaffold containing the principal extracellular matrix components of native disc tissue (i.e. collagen type II, aggrecan and hyaluronan) has not been investigated. In this study the behavior of bovine nucleus pulposus cells that were seeded within non-cross-linked and enzymatically cross-linked, atelocollagen type II based scaffolds containing varying concentrations of aggrecan and hyaluronan was investigated. Cross-linking atelocollagen type II based scaffolds did not cause any negative effects on cell viability or cell proliferation over the 7-day culture period. The cross-linked scaffolds retained the highest proteoglycan synthesis rate and the lowest elution of sulfated glycosaminoglycan into the surrounding medium. From confined compression testing and volume reduction measurements, it was seen that the cross-linked scaffolds provided a more stable structure for the cells compared to the non-cross-linked scaffolds. The results of this study indicate that the enzymatically cross-linked, composite collagen–hyaluronan scaffold shows the most potential for developing an injectable cell-seeded scaffold for nucleus pulposus treatment in degenerated intervertebral discs.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 29, Issue 4, February 2008, Pages 438–447