Bi-layer collagen/microporous electrospun nanofiber scaffold improves the osteochondral regeneration
An optimal scaffold is crucial for osteochondral regeneration. Collagen and electrospun nanofibers have been demonstrated to facilitate cartilage and bone regeneration, respectively. However, the effect of combining collagen and electrospun nanofibers on osteochondral regeneration has yet to be evaluated. Here, we report that the combination of collagen and electrospun poly-l-lactic acid nanofibers synergistically promotes osteochondral regeneration. We first fabricated bi-layer microporous scaffold with collagen and electrospun poly-l-lactic acid nanofibers (COL-nanofiber). Mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on the bi-layer scaffold and their adhesion, proliferation and differentiation were examined. Moreover, osteochondral defects were created in rabbits and implanted with COL-nanofiber scaffold. Cartilage and subchondral bone regeneration were evaluated at 6 and 12 weeks after surgery. Compared with COL scaffold, cells on COL-nanofiber scaffold exhibited more robust osteogenic differentiation, indicated by higher expression levels of OCN and runx2 genes as well as the accumulation of calcium nodules. Furthermore, implantation of COL-nanofiber scaffold seeded with cells induced more rapid subchondral bone emergence, and better cartilage formation, which led to better functional repair of osteochondral defects as manifested by histological staining, biomechanical test and micro-computed tomography data. Our study underscores the potential of using the bi-layer microporous COL-nanofiber scaffold for the treatment of deep osteochondral defects.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 9, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages 7236–7247