Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1192–1204

A novel nano-structured porous polycaprolactone scaffold improves hyaline cartilage repair in a rabbit model compared to a collagen type I/III scaffold: in vitro and in vivo studies

  • Bjørn Borsøe Christensen
  • Casper Bindzus Foldager
  • Ole Møller Hansen
  • Asger Albæk Kristiansen
  • Dang Quang Svend Le
  • Agnete Desirée Nielsen
  • Jens Vinge Nygaard
  • Cody Erik Bünger
  • Martin Lind
Experimental Study

DOI: 10.1007/s00167-011-1692-9

Cite this article as:
Christensen, B.B., Foldager, C.B., Hansen, O.M. et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2012) 20: 1192. doi:10.1007/s00167-011-1692-9

Abstract

Purpose

To develop a nano-structured porous polycaprolactone (NSP-PCL) scaffold and compare the articular cartilage repair potential with that of a commercially available collagen type I/III (Chondro-Gide®) scaffold.

Methods

By combining rapid prototyping and thermally induced phase separation, the NSP-PCL scaffold was produced for matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte implantation. Lyophilizing a water–dioxane–PCL solution created micro and nano-pores. In vitro: The scaffolds were seeded with rabbit chondrocytes and cultured in hypoxia for 6 days. qRT–PCR was performed using primers for sox9, aggrecan, collagen type 1 and 2. In vivo: 15 New Zealand White Rabbits received bilateral osteochondral defects in the femoral intercondylar grooves. Autologous chondrocytes were harvested 4 weeks prior to surgery. There were 3 treatment groups: (1) NSP-PCL scaffold without cells. (2) The Chondro-Gide® scaffold with autologous chondrocytes and (3) NSP-PCL scaffold with autologous chondrocytes. Observation period was 13 weeks. Histological evaluation was made using the O’Driscoll score.

Results

In vitro: The expressions of sox9 and aggrecan were higher in the NSP-PCL scaffold, while expression of collagen 1 was lower compared to the Chondro-Gide® scaffold. In vivo: Both NSP-PCL scaffolds with and without cells scored significantly higher than the Chondro-Gide® scaffold when looking at the structural integrity and the surface regularity of the repair tissue. No differences were found between the NSP-PCL scaffold with and without cells.

Conclusion

The NSP-PCL scaffold demonstrated higher in vitro expression of chondrogenic markers and had higher in vivo histological scores compared to the Chondro-Gide® scaffold. The improved chondrocytic differentiation can potentially produce more hyaline cartilage during clinical cartilage repair. It appears to be a suitable cell-free implant for hyaline cartilage repair and could provide a less costly and more effective treatment option than the Chondro-Gide® scaffold with cells.

Keywords

Chondrocyte transplantation Cell-free scaffold Articular cartilage repair Rabbit model Polycaprolactone 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjørn Borsøe Christensen
    • 1
  • Casper Bindzus Foldager
    • 1
  • Ole Møller Hansen
    • 1
  • Asger Albæk Kristiansen
    • 2
  • Dang Quang Svend Le
    • 2
  • Agnete Desirée Nielsen
    • 3
  • Jens Vinge Nygaard
    • 2
  • Cody Erik Bünger
    • 1
  • Martin Lind
    • 4
  1. 1.Orthopaedic Research LaboratoryAarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Nanoscience CenterAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  3. 3.Department of RadiologySilkeborg Regional HospitalSilkeborgDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Sports Trauma ClinicAarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark