Evaluation of chondrocyte behavior in a new equine collagen scaffold useful for cartilage repair.

B. Grigolo, G. Desando, C. Cavallo, N. Zini, S. Ghisu, A. Facchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Association of biomaterials with autologous cells can provide a new generation of implantable devices for cartilage repair. An ideal scaffold should possess a preformed three-dimensional shape, fix the cells to the damaged area and prevent their migration into the articular cavity. Furthermore, the constructs should have sufficient mechanical strength to facilitate handling in a clinical setting and stimulate the uniform spreading of cells and a phenotype re-differentiation process. The aim of this study was to verify the ability of an equine collagen membrane to support the growth of human chondrocytes and to allow the re-expression of their original phenotype. This ability was assessed by the evaluation of collagen type I, II and aggrecan mRNA expression by Real-Time PCR. Immunohistochemical analyses were performed to evaluate collagen type I, II and proteoglycans synthesis. Electron microscopy was utilized to highlight the structure of the biomaterial and its interactions with the cells. Our data indicate that human chondrocytes seeded onto a collagen membrane express and produce collagen type II and aggrecan and downregulate the production of collagen type I during the experimental times analyzed. These results provide an in vitro demonstration for the therapeutic potential of autologous chondrocyte transplantation by an equine collagen membrane as a delivery vehicle in a tissue-engineered approach towards the repair of articular cartilage defects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number2 Suppl
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research


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