The use of biodegradable polyurethane scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering: potential and limitations
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the capability of novel biodegradable polyurethane scaffolds to support attachment, growth and maintenance of differentiated chondrocytes in vitro for up to 42 days. After an initial decrease, although not significant, the DNA content of the constructs remained constant over the culture time. A progressive increase in glycosaminoglycans and collagen was observed during the culture period. However, a significant release of matrix molecules into the culture medium was also noticeable. At the transcriptional level, a decrease in aggrecan and procollagen II mRNA expression was noticeable, whereas procollagen I expression was increased. To conclude, the present data demonstrate that biodegradable polyurethane porous scaffolds seeded with articular chondrocytes support cell attachment and the production of extracellular matrix proteins. The limitations of the system are the diffusion of large amounts of matrix molecules into the culture medium and the dedifferentiation of the chondrocytes with prolonged time in culture. However, due to the favourable mechanical properties of the polyurethane scaffold, stimulation of chondrocytes by mechanical loading can be considered in order to improve the formation of a functional cartilage-like extracellular matrix.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 24, Issue 28, December 2003, Pages 5163–5171