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Keywords:

  • cartilage;
  • tissue engineering;
  • gelatin;
  • calcium phosphate;
  • biphasic scaffold

Abstract

Tissue engineering is a new approach to articular cartilage repair; however, the integration of the engineered cartilage into the host subchondral bone is a major problem in osteochondral injury. The aim of the present work, therefore, was to make a tissue-engineered osteochondral construct from a novel biphasic scaffold in a newly designed double-chamber bioreactor. This bioreactor was designed to coculture chondrocytes and osteoblasts simultaneously. The aim of this study was to prove that engineered cartilage could be formed with the use of this biphasic scaffold. The scaffold was constructed from gelatin and a calcium-phosphate block made from calcined bovine bone. The cartilage part of the scaffold had a uniform pore size of about 180 μm and approximate porosity of 75%, with the trabecular pattern preserved in the bony part of the scaffold. The biphasic scaffolds were seeded with porcine chondrocytes and cultured in a double-chamber bioreactor for 2 or 4 weeks. The chondrocytes were homogeneously distributed in the gelatin part of the scaffold, and secretion of the extracellular matrix was demonstrated histologically. The chondrocytes retained their phenotype after 4 weeks of culture, as proven immunohistochemically. After 4 weeks of culture, hyaline-like cartilage with lacuna formation could be clearly seen in the gelatin scaffold on the surface of the calcium phosphate. The results show that this biphasic scaffold can support cartilage formation on a calcium-phosphate surface in a double-chamber bioreactor, and it seems reasonable to suggest that there is potential for further application in osteochondral tissue engineering. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 71B: 313–321, 2004