This study (i) developed a scaffold made of collagen I designed for hosting the autologous chondrocytes, (ii) focused on the optimization of chondrocytes seeding by the addition of the fibrin glue, and (iii) investigated the culture time for the ideal scaffold maturation in vitro. In the first part of the study, fresh chondrocytes were isolated from infant swine articular cartilage, and immediately seeded onto the collagen sponges either in medium or in fibrinogen in order to show the contribute of fibrin glue in cell seeding and survival into the scaffold. In the second part of the study, chondrocytes were first expanded in vitro and then resuspended in fibrinogen, seeded in collagen sponges, and cultured for 1, 3, and 5 weeks in order to identify the optimal time for the rescue of cell phenotype and for the scaffold maturation into a tissue with chondral properties. The histological and immunohistochemical data from the first part of the study (study with primary chondrocytes) demonstrated that the presence of fibrin glue ameliorated cell distribution and survival into the chondral composites. The second part of this work (study with dedifferentiated chondrocytes) showed that the prolongation of the culture to 3 weeks promoted a significant restoration of the cell phenotype, resulting in a composite with proper morphological features, biochemical composition, and mechanical integrity. In conclusion, this study developed a collagenic-fibrin glue scaffold that was able to support chondrocyte survival and synthetic activity in a static culture; in particular, this model was able to turn the engineered samples into a tissue with chondral-like properties when cultured in vitro for at least 3 weeks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering