Cells behave distinctly within sponges and hydrogels due to differences of internal structure.

TitleCells behave distinctly within sponges and hydrogels due to differences of internal structure.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsZhang J, Yang Z, Li C, Dou Y, Li Y, Thote T, Wang D-A, Ge Z
JournalTissue engineering. Part A
Date Published2013 Oct

Different forms of biomaterials, including microspheres, sponges, hydrogels, and nanofibers, have been broadly used in cartilage regeneration; however, effects of internal structures of the biomaterials on cells and chondrogenesis remain largely unexplored. We hypothesized that different internal structures of sponges and hydrogels led to phenotypic disparity of the cells and may lead to disparate chondrogenesis. In the current study, the chondrocytes in sponges and hydrogels of chitosan were compared with regard to cell distribution, morphology, gene expression, and production of extracellular matrix. The chondrocytes clustered or attached to the materials with spindle morphologies in the sponges, while they distributed evenly with spherical morphologies in the hydrogels. The chondrocytes proliferated faster with elevated gene expression of collagen type I and down-regulated gene expression of aggracan in sponges, when compared with those in the hydrogels. However, there was no significant difference of the expression of collagen type II between these two scaffolds. Excretion of both glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and collagen type II increased with time in vitro, but there was no significant difference between the sponges and the hydrogels. There was no significant difference in secretion of GAG and collagen type II in the two scaffolds, while the levels of collagen type I and collagen type X were much higher in sponges compared with those in hydrogels during an in vivo study. Though the chondrocytes displayed different phenotypes in the sponges and hydrogels, they led to comparable chondrogenesis. An optimized design of the biomaterials could further improve chondrogenesis through enhancing functionalities of the chondrocytes.

Alternate JournalTissue Eng Part A