Effects of dynamic loading on neocartilage formation

Çiçek Rezaeitabar, Gülçin
Cartilage tissue engineering has gained attention to meet the increasing demand for articular cartilage treatment in ageing populations. In this study, a visible light crosslinkable Methacrylated Glycol Chitosan (MeGC)-Fibrinogen (Fib) hydrogel system which can potentially be used in cartilage tissue engineering applications was developed. Incorporation of Fib into MeGC hydrogel structure decreased the swelling, led to increase in stability and improved the mechanical properties of hydrogels. Besides Fib addition enhanced proliferation of encapsulated chondrocytes and improved cartilagenious extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition within hydrogels. To investigate the effect of incremental dynamic compressive loading on the development of cartilage tissue constructs, rabbit chondrocytes were entrapped in 1 MeGC-Fib based hydrogels and cultivated in a custom-built mechanobioreactor. Investigations revealed that, not just dynamic cultivation but applied mechanical stimulation regime is also crucially important on viability and cartilage-specific ECM production by chondrocytes. At the end of 21 days of cultivation, compared to free swelling and DC-1 regime, hydrogel-entrapped chondrocytes cultivated under incremental dynamic compressive loading regime (DC-2) increased cell proliferation and chondrocyte functionality. To further evaluate the chondrogenicvi potential of MeGC-Fib hydrogels and DC-2 regime, in-vivo studies were performed by hydrogel implantation to chondral defect models created on New Zealand White Rabbits. The histological and immunoflorescent examinations revealed the positive impact both MeGC-Fib hydrogels and DC-2 regime on neocartilage formation with a higher s-GAG, total collagen and collagen-II content compared to other groups. These findings demonstrate the potential of developed MeGC-Fib hydrogels and incremental dynamic compressive loading regime to promote cartilage regeneration


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Citation Formats
G. Çiçek Rezaeitabar, “Effects of dynamic loading on neocartilage formation,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.