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Enhanced Chondrogenic Responses of Human Articular Chondrocytes Onto Silk Fibroin/Wool Keratose Scaffolds Treated With Microwave-Induced Argon Plasma

Authors

  • Young Woo Cheon,

    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University;
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  • Won Jai Lee,

    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Yonsei University College of Medicine;
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  • Hyun Sook Baek,

    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Yonsei University College of Medicine;
    2. Department of Medical Engineering, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine;
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  • Young Dae Lee,

    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Yonsei University College of Medicine;
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  • Jong-Chul Park,

    1. Department of Medical Engineering, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine;
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  • Young Hwan Park,

    1. Department of Biosystems and Biomaterials Science and Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University, Seoul; and
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  • Chang Seok Ki,

    1. Department of Biosystems and Biomaterials Science and Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University, Seoul; and
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  • Kie-Hyung Chung,

    1. Physico-Technology Laboratory, Korea Accelerator and Plasma Research Association, Gangwon-do, Korea
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  • Dong Kyun Rah

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Yonsei University College of Medicine;
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Dr. Dong Kyun Rah, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea. E-mail: dkrah@yuhs.ac

Abstract

Silk fibroin (SF) is a natural, degradable, fibrous protein that is biocompatible, is easily processed, and possesses unique mechanical properties. Another natural material, wool keratose (WK), is a soluble derivative of wool keratin, containing amino acid sequences that induce cell adhesion. Here, we blended SF and WK to improve the poor electrospinability of WK and increase the adhesiveness of SF. We hypothesized that microwave-induced argon plasma treatment would improve chondrogenic cell growth and cartilage-specific extracellular matrix formation on a three-dimensional SF/WK scaffold. After argon plasma treatment, static water contact angle measurement revealed increased hydrophilicity of the SF/WK scaffold, and scanning electron microscopy showed that treated SF/WK scaffolds had deeper and more cylindrical pores than nontreated scaffolds. Attachment and proliferation of neonatal human knee articular chondrocytes on treated SF/WK scaffolds increased significantly, followed by increased glycosaminoglycan synthesis. Our results suggest that microwave-induced, plasma-treated SF/WK scaffolds have potential in cartilage tissue engineering.

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