Highly Porous Gelatin Reinforced 3D Scaffolds for Articular Cartilage Regeneration

Sofia Amadori, Paola Torricelli, Silvia Panzavolta, Annapaola Parrilli, Milena Fini, Adriana Bigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


3D highly porous (93% total porosity) gelatin scaffolds were prepared according to a novel, simple method, which implies gelatin foaming, gelification, soaking into ethanol and successive freeze-drying. Reinforcement of the as-prepared scaffolds (GEL) was performed through immersion in aqueous solutions at different gelatin concentrations. Reinforcement solutions with and without genipin addition allowed to prepare two series of samples:cross-linked and uncross-linked samples, respectively. The amount of gelatin adsorbed onto the reinforced samples increases as a function of gelatin concentration in solution and provokes a drastic improvement of the compressive modulus and collapse strength up to values of about 30 and 4 MPa, respectively. The open and interconnected porosity, although slightly reduced, is still of the order of 80% in the samples reinforced with the highest concentration of gelatin. Water uptake ability evaluated after immersion in PBS for 20 s decreases with gelatin reinforcement. The presence of genipin in cross-linked samples reduces gelatin release and stabilizes the scaffolds in solution. Chondrocytes from human articular cartilage adhere, proliferate, and penetrate into the scaffolds. The evaluation of differentiation markers both on the supernatants of cell culture and by means of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) indicates a dose-dependent promotion of cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-952
Number of pages12
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • cartilage regeneration
  • chondrocyte culture
  • gelatin scaffolds
  • high-resolution micro-CT
  • mechanical characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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