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Biores Open Access. 2013 Apr;2(2):138-47. doi: 10.1089/biores.2012.0293.

PLDLA/PCL-T Scaffold for Meniscus Tissue Engineering.

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1
Department of Materials Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP) , Campinas, Brazil . ; Laboratory of Biomaterials, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo (PUC-SP) , Sorocaba, Brazil .

Abstract

The inability of the avascular region of the meniscus to regenerate has led to the use of tissue engineering to treat meniscal injuries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of fibrochondrocytes preseeded on PLDLA/PCL-T [poly(L-co-D,L-lactic acid)/poly(caprolactone-triol)] scaffolds to stimulate regeneration of the whole meniscus. Porous PLDLA/PCL-T (90/10) scaffolds were obtained by solvent casting and particulate leaching. Compressive modulus of 9.5±1.0 MPa and maximum stress of 4.7±0.9 MPa were evaluated. Fibrochondrocytes from rabbit menisci were isolated, seeded directly on the scaffolds, and cultured for 21 days. New Zealand rabbits underwent total meniscectomy, after which implants consisting of cell-free scaffolds or cell-seeded scaffolds were introduced into the medial knee meniscus; the negative control group consisted of rabbits that received no implant. Macroscopic and histological evaluations of the neomeniscus were performed 12 and 24 weeks after implantation. The polymer scaffold implants adapted well to surrounding tissues, without apparent rejection, infection, or chronic inflammatory response. Fibrocartilaginous tissue with mature collagen fibers was observed predominantly in implants with seeded scaffolds compared to cell-free implants after 24 weeks. Similar results were not observed in the control group. Articular cartilage was preserved in the polymeric implants and showed higher chondrocyte cell number than the control group. These findings show that the PLDLA/PCL-T 90/10 scaffold has potential for orthopedic applications since this material allowed the formation of fibrocartilaginous tissue, a structure of crucial importance for repairing injuries to joints, including replacement of the meniscus and the protection of articular cartilage from degeneration.

KEYWORDS:

PLDLA/PCL-T scaffold; fibrochondrocyte culture; meniscus regeneration

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