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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2006;17(1-2):103-19.

Electrospun PLGA nanofiber scaffolds for articular cartilage reconstruction: mechanical stability, degradation and cellular responses under mechanical stimulation in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae, Gyeongnam, South Korea.


We investigated the potential of a nanofiber-based poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) scaffold to be used for cartilage reconstruction. The mechanical properties of the nanofiber scaffold, degradation of the scaffold and cellular responses to the scaffold under mechanical stimulation were studied. Three different types of scaffold (lactic acid/glycolic acid content ratio = 75 : 25, 50 : 50, or a blend of 75 : 25 and 50 : 50) were tested. The tensile modulus, ultimate tensile stress and corresponding strain of the scaffolds were similar to those of skin and were slightly lower than those of human cartilage. This suggested that the nanofiber scaffold was sufficiently mechanically stable to withstand implantation and to support regenerated cartilage. The 50 : 50 PLGA scaffold was degraded faster than 75 : 25 PLGA, probably due to the higher hydrophilic glycolic acid content in the former. The nanofiber scaffold was degraded faster than a block-type scaffold that had a similar molecular weight. Therefore, degradation of the scaffold depended on the lactic acid/glycolic acid content ratio and might be controlled by mixing ratio of blend PLGA. Cellular responses were evaluated by examining toxicity, cell proliferation and extracellular matrix (ECM) formation using freshly isolated chondrocytes from porcine articular cartilage. The scaffolds were non-toxic, and cell proliferation and ECM formation in nanofiber scaffolds were superior to those in membrane-type scaffolds. Intermittent hydrostatic pressure applied to cell-seeded nanofiber scaffolds increased chondrocyte proliferation and ECM formation. In conclusion, our nanofiber-based PLGA scaffold has the potential to be used for cartilage reconstruction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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