Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol.129, No.6, 756-764, 2020
Chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells on 3D porous poly (epsilon-caprolactone) scaffolds: Effects of material alkaline treatment and chondroitin sulfate supplementation
Cartilage defects resultant from trauma or degenerative diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis) can potentially be repaired using tissue engineering (TE) strategies combining progenitor cells, biomaterial scaffolds and bio-physical/chemical cues. This work examines promoting chondrogenic differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (BM-MSCs) by combining the effects of modified poly (epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds hydrophilicity and chondroitin sulfate (CS) supplementation in a hypoxic 5% oxygen atmosphere. 3D-extruded PCL scaffolds, characterized by mCT, featured a 21 mm(-1) surface area to volume ratio, 390 mm pore size and approximately 100% pore interconnectivity. Scaffold immersion in sodium hydroxide solutions for different periods of time had major effects in scaffold surface morphology, wettability and mechanical properties, but without improvements on cell adhesion. In-situ chondrogenic differentiation of BM-MSC seeded in 3D-extruded PCL scaffolds resulted in higher cell populations and ECM deposition along all scaffold structure, when chondrogenesis was preceded by an expansion phase. Additionally, CS supplementation during BM-MSC expansion was crucial to enhance aggrecan gene expression, known as a hallmark of chondrogenesis. Overall, this study presents an approach to tailor the wettability and mechanical properties of PCL scaffolds and supports the use of CS-supplementation as a biochemical cue in integrated TE strategies for cartilage regeneration. (C) 2020, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. All rights reserved.