Articular cartilage degeneration and traumatic cartilage defects are common disorders causing
pain and disability. Many strategies were developed throughout years to address these problems.
Tissue engineering approaches offer several promising solutions. Articular hyaline cartilage has very complex structure
and follows a multi-layer architecture. In this study, we developed a 4-layers scaffold mimicking the fibers orientation observed
within the cartilage extra-cellular matrix (ECM). Bone and cartilage microparticles were incorporated in the first
and second layers, respectively, to direct the differentiation of stem cells toward subchondral bone and cartilage phenotype.
The 2 upper layers were designed with random (layer 3) and aligned (layer 4) electrospun nanofibers in an attempt to
mimic hyaline articular cartilage ECM orientation. Histological analysis of the scaffold showed a continuous and homogeneous
structure. Moreover, we confirmed the presence of cartilage and bone microparticles in the gelatin foam-based
layers (layer 1 and 2). Scanning electron microscope (SEM) confirmed the tubular, vertical, morphology of the first and
second layers, thereby mimicking as intended the native hyaline cartilage structure. Water uptake and degradation rate of
our scaffold appeared suitable for our application, with many options for tunability. Finally, we demonstrated that the
scaffolds were biocompatible, as it promoted the survival and attachment of MIAMI cells in vitro. In this study, we described
the first phases of the development of a multi-layered scaffold designed to mimic the native architecture of articular
hyaline cartilage. With further refinements and testing, we hope that this strategy will pave the way for potential new
advances in the field of osteochondral repair.
Keywords: Electrospinning, gelatin, human tissues, hyaline cartilage, MIAMI cells, multi-layered scaffold, nanofibers, tissue
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport