Photocrosslinkable hyaluronan as a scaffold for articular cartilage repair.
Hyaluronan-based scaffolds are of interest for tissue-engineered cartilage repair due to an important role for hyaluronan in cartilage development and function. In this study, an in situ photocrosslinkable hyaluronan (HA-MA) was developed and evaluated as a scaffold for articular cartilage repair. Chondrocytes were encapsulated in crosslinked HA-MA and evaluated for their ability to synthesize cartilaginous matrix in vitro. The mechanical and physical properties of the crosslinked HA-MA hydrogels were similar to that of other hydrogels, with compressive and dynamic shear moduli of 0.6 and 0.3 kPa, respectively, and diffusion coefficients of 600-8000 microm2/s depending on molecular weight. Chondrocytes remained rounded in the HA-MA hydrogels in vitro, and accumulated significant amounts of cartilaginous matrix. Osteochondral defects filled with HA-MA were infiltrated with cells, appeared to integrate well with native tissue, and also accumulated substantial cartilaginous matrix by 2 weeks after surgery. In summary, photocrosslinkable HA-MA promoted the retention of the chondrocytic phenotype and cartilage matrix synthesis for encapsulated chondrocytes in vitro and accelerated healing in an in vivo osteochondral defect model.
Nettles, DL; Vail, TP; Morgan, MT; Grinstaff, MW; Setton, LA
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