Send to

Choose Destination
Biomaterials. 2001 Dec;22(23):3145-54.

The effects of cross-linking of collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffolds on compressive stiffness, chondrocyte-mediated contraction, proliferation and biosynthesis.

Author information

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


The healing of articular cartilage defects may be improved by the use of implantable three-dimensional matrices. The present study investigated the effects of four cross-linking methods on the compressive stiffness of collagen-glycosaminoglycan (CG) matrices and the interaction between adult canine articular chondrocytes and the matrix: dehydrothermal treatment (DHT), ultraviolet irradiation (UV), glutaraldehyde treatment (GTA), and 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDAC). The degree and kinetics of chondrocyte-mediated contraction, chondrocyte proliferation, and protein and glycosaminoglycan synthesis were evaluated over a four-week period in vitro. Cell-mediated contraction of the matrices varied with cross-linking: the most compliant DHT and UV matrices contracted the most (60% reduction in matrix diameter) and stiffest EDAC matrices contracted the least (30% reduction in matrix diameter). All cross-linking protocols permitted cell proliferation and matrix synthesis as measured by DNA content and radiolabeled sulfate and proline incorporation, respectively. During the first week in culture, a lower level of proliferation was seen in the GTA matrices but over the four-week culture period, the GTA and EDAC matrices provided for the greatest cell proliferation. On day 2, there was a significantly lower rate of 3H-proline incorporation in the GTA matrices (p<0.003) although at later time points, the EDAC and GTA matrices exhibited the highest levels of matrix synthesis. With regard to cartilage-specific matrix molecule synthesis, immunohistochemistry revealed a greater amount of type II collagen in DHT and UV matrices at the early time points. These findings serve as a foundation for future studies of tissue engineering of articular cartilage and the association of chondrocyte contraction and the processes of mitosis and biosynthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center