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Minerva Biotecnologica 2017 September;29(3):114-25

DOI: 10.23736/S1120-4826.17.02232-7

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A three-dimensional reconstruction of tissue engineered cartilage with electrospun fibrous scaffolds of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) for the repair of full-thickness defects of articular cartilage

Hong-Mei ZHANG 1, Yu-Bing CHEN 2, Pei-Biao ZHANG 3, Han WU 1

1 China-Japan Union Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China; 2 Department of Radiotherapy, Second Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China; 3 State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, China


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BACKGROUND: A strategy of three-dimensional scaffold reconstruction of sandwich structures for tissue engineering was explored in this study, and the ability of these absorbable scaffolds was evaluated.
METHODS: Rabbit cartilage chondrocytes were seeded on PLGA/GAG fibrous scaffolds by centrifugation, and cultured in vitro for 4 weeks. An in vivo study was performed on full-thickness (3-4 mm) osteochondral defects established from 16-week-old rabbit knees. The study comprised of two groups: implant group, the construct of the PLGA/GAG fibrous scaffold was seeded with chondrocytes; control group, nothing filled in. The repaired tissue was harvested at 2, 4 and 24 weeks. The constructs and repaired tissues were analyzed with scanning electron microscope and histology.
RESULTS: Results revealed that the pore size of the fibrous scaffold of PLGA/GAG was 1.0-8.6 μm in diameter with strong thermal stability, compared to PLGA alone. Chondrocytes cultured in vitro was grown in the surface of the PLGA/GAG fibrous scaffold, and large amounts of ECM were secreted. Hyaline cartilage tissues were formed when the complex of the fibrous scaffold and cells were cultured for 2-4 weeks. The fiber layer of the artificial cartilage remained visible inside and outside. At six months after the operation, the repaired tissues in the PLGA/GAG group were well-integrated with the surrounding tissues. Histological analysis revealed newly formed cartilage tissues around the scaffold in the implant group. Furthermore, fibrous scaffolds continued to remain on the surface layer that contained fewer scaffolds. The complete and newly formed cartilage tissues could be observed in the defects. However, the defects in the control group were filled with granulation tissues only.
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that the articular cartilage of tissue engineering reconstructed by electrospun fibrous scaffolds of PLGA/GAG could significantly repair the defects in cartilage tissues.


KEY WORDS: Glycosaminoglycans - Chondrocytes - Tissue engineering - Cartilage - Reconstructive surgical procedures

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