• composite;
  • fibrin;
  • chitosan;
  • microspheres;
  • chondrocyte redifferentiation


The aim of this study was to develop a biocompatible monolayer substrate based on fibrin and chitosan for in vitro culture of chondrocytes. Fibrin-chitosan composite substrates combined the proved cell adhesion properties of fibrin with the hydrophilicity and poor adhesion capacity of chitosan. Chitosan microspheres were produced by coacervation method, agglomerated within a fibrin network and subsequently crosslinked with genipin. The composite substrate was stable for 28 days of culture due to the high crosslinking density. Human chondrocytes cultured on the composite substrate were viable during the culture period. At the end of culture time (28 days) the composite substrate showed low cellular proliferation, 41% more collagen type II and 13% more production of sulfated glycosaminoglycans with respect to the amounts found at 14 days. The study revealed that dedifferentiated chondrocytes cultured in monolayer on the composite substrate can re-acquire characteristics of differentiated cells without using three-dimensional substrates or chondrogenic media. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2013.