Effect of construct properties on encapsulated chondrocyte expression of insulin-like growth factor-1
Hydrogels are a promising type of biomaterial for articular cartilage constructs since they have been shown to enable encapsulated chondrocytes to express their predominant phenotypic marker, type II collagen. Endogenously expressed signaling molecules, such as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), are also known to facilitate the retention of this chondrocytic phenotype. Recent investigations have attempted to enhance the ability of encapsulated chondrocytes to regenerate cartilage through delivery of exogenous signaling molecules. However, we hypothesize that by altering construct properties, such as cell density and polymer concentration, we can augment the expression of endogenous IGF-1 in chondrocytes. To this end, bovine articular chondrocytes were encapsulated within alginate hydrogels at two different cell densities (25,000 and 100,000 cells/bead) and various alginate concentrations (0.8%, 1.2%, and 2.0% w/v). These parameters were chosen to simultaneously investigate cell-to-cell distance on paracrine signaling and water content on IGF-1 diffusion by chondrocytes. At 1, 4, and 8 d, chondrocytes were analyzed for protein and mRNA expression of IGF-1 as well as type II collagen. Results suggest that cell density and alginate concentration at high cell density can significantly affect the endogenous IGF-1 expression by chondrocytes. Therefore, these results indicate that construct properties can impact chondrocyte gene expression and should be considered in order to create a proper engineered articular cartilage construct.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 28, Issue 2, January 2007, Pages 299–306