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Biomaterials. 2011 Oct;32(29):7118-26. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.06.018. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

A highly organized three-dimensional alginate scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering prepared by microfluidic technology.

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Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and frequently involves the knee, hip and phalangeal joints. Current treatments used in small cartilage defects including multiple drilling, abrasion arthroplasty, mosaicplasty, and autogenous chondrocyte transplantation, however, there are problems needed to be solved. The standard treatment for severe osteoarthritis is total joint arthroplasty. The disadvantages of this surgery are the possibility of implant loosening. Therefore, tissue engineering for cartilage regeneration has become a promising topic. We have developed a new method to produce a highly organized single polymer (alginate) scaffold using microfluidic device. Scanning electron microscope and confocal fluoroscope examinations showed that the scaffold has a regular interconnected porous structure in the scale of 250 μm and high porosity. The scaffold is effective in chondrocyte culture; the cell viability test (WST-1 assay), cell toxicity (lactate dehydrogenase assay), cell survival rate, extracellular matrix production (glycosaminoglycans contents), cell proliferation (DNA quantification), and gene expression (real-time PCR) all revealed good results for chondrocyte culture. The chondrocytes can maintain normal phenotypes, highly express aggrecan and type II collagen, and secrete a great deal of extracellular matrix when seeded in the alginate scaffold. This study demonstrated that a highly organized alginate scaffold can be prepared with an economical microfluidic device, and this scaffold is effective in cartilage tissue engineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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