Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition

In vitro chondrocyte behavior on porous biodegradable poly(e-caprolactone)/polyglycolic acid scaffolds for articular chondrocyte adhesion and proliferation.

PMID 25671317


In this study, poly(e-caprolactone)/polyglycolic acid (PCL/PGA) scaffolds for repairing articular cartilage were fabricated via solid-state cryomilling along with compression molding and porogen leaching. Four distinct scaffolds were fabricated using this approach by four independent cryomilling times. These scaffolds were assessed for their suitability to promote articular cartilage regeneration with in vitro chondrocyte cell culture studies. The scaffolds were characterized for pore size, porosity, swelling ratio, compressive, and thermal properties. Cryomilling time proved to significantly affect the physical, mechanical, and morphological properties of the scaffolds. In vitro bovine chondrocyte culture was performed dynamically for 1, 7, 14, 28, and 35 days. Chondrocyte viability and adhesion were tested using MTT assay and scanning electron microscopy micrographs. Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and DNA assays were performed to investigate the extracellular matrix (ECM) formation and cell proliferation, respectively. PCL/PGA scaffolds demonstrated high porosity for all scaffold types. Morphological analysis and poly(ethylene oxide) continuity demonstrated the existence of a co-continuous network of interconnected pores with pore sizes appropriate for tissue engineering and chondrocyte ingrowth. While mean pore size decreased, water uptake and compressive properties increased with increasing cryomilling times. Compressive modulus of 12, 30, and 60 min scaffolds matched the compressive modulus of human articular cartilage. Viable cells increased besides increase in cell proliferation and ECM formation with progress in culture period. Chondrocytes exhibited spherical morphology on all scaffold types. The pore size of the scaffold affected chondrocyte adhesion, proliferation, and GAG secretion. The results indicated that the 12 min scaffolds delivered promising results for applications in articular cartilage repair.