In Vitro Analysis of Human Cartilage Infiltrated by Hydrogels and Hydrogel-Encapsulated Chondrocytes

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease causing loss of articular cartilage and structural damage in all joint tissues. Given the limited regenerative capacity of articular cartilage, methods to support the native structural properties of articular cartilage are highly anticipated. The aim of this study was to infiltrate zwitterionic monomer solutions into human OA-cartilage explants to replace lost proteoglycans. The study included polymerization and deposition of methacryloyloxyethyl-phosphorylcholine- and a novel sulfobetaine-methacrylate-based monomer solution within ex vivo human OA-cartilage explants and the encapsulation of isolated chondrocytes within hydrogels and the corresponding effects on chondrocyte viability. The results demonstrated that zwitterionic cartilage–hydrogel networks are formed by infiltration. In general, cytotoxic effects of the monomer solutions were observed, as was a time-dependent infiltration behavior into the tissue accompanied by increasing cell death and penetration depth. The successful deposition of zwitterionic hydrogels within OA cartilage identifies the infiltration method as a potential future therapeutic option for the repair/replacement of OA-cartilage extracellular suprastructure. Due to the toxic effects of the monomer solutions, the focus should be on sealing the OA-cartilage surface, instead of complete infiltration. An alternative treatment option for focal cartilage defects could be the usage of monomer solutions, especially the novel generated sulfobetaine-methacrylate-based monomer solution, as bionic for cell-based 3D bioprintable hydrogels.

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Author:Hannah KöckORCiD, Birgit Striegl, Annalena Kraus, Magdalena Zborilova, Silke H. Christiansen, Nicole Schäfer, Susanne Grässel, Helga Hornberger
Parent Title (English):Bioengineering
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2023
Publishing Institution:Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg
Release Date:2023/07/06
Tag:chondrocytes; human articular cartilage; hydrogels; infiltration; osteoarthritis; zwitterionic monomers
Article Number:767
First Page:1
Last Page:21
Corresponding author: Helga Hornberger
Institutes:Fakultät Maschinenbau
Regensburg Center of Biomedical Engineering - RCBE
Fakultät Maschinenbau / Labor Biomaterialien
OpenAccess Publikationsweg:Gold Open Access- Erstveröffentlichung in einem/als Open-Access-Medium
Corresponding author der OTH Regensburg
research focus:Lebenswissenschaften und Ethik
Funding:Publikationsfonds der OTH Regensburg
Licence (German):Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International