Integration of C-type natriuretic peptide gene-modified bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells with chitosan/silk fibroin scaffolds as a promising strategy for articular cartilage regeneration

  • Shuo Yang
  • Zhiyong Qian
  • Donghua Liu
  • Ning WenEmail author
  • Juan XuEmail author
  • Ximin GuoEmail author


The treatment of articular cartilage defects has become a major clinical concern. Currently, additional efforts are necessary to develop effective methods to cure this disease. In this work, we combined gene therapy with tissue engineering methods to test their effect on cartilage repair. In in vitro experiments, we obtained C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) gene-modified bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) by transfection with recombinant adenovirus containing the CNP gene and revealed that CNP gene-modified BMSCs had good chondrogenic differentiation ability. By the freeze-drying method, we successfully synthesized a chitosan/silk fibroin (CS/SF) porous scaffold, which had a suitable aperture size for chondrogenesis. Then, we loaded CNP gene-modified BMSCs onto CS/SF scaffolds and tested their effect on repairing full-thickness cartilage defects in rat joints. The gross morphology and histology examination results showed that the composite of the CNP gene-modified BMSCs and CS/SF scaffolds had better repair effects than those of the other three groups at each time point. Additionally, compared to the group with BMSCs and scaffolds, we found that there was more cartilage matrix in the CNP gene-modified BMSCs and CS/SF scaffolds group. Data obtained in the present study suggest that the composite of CNP gene-modified BMSCs and CS/SF scaffolds represent promising strategies for repairing focal cartilage lesions.


Cartilage tissue engineering Gene transfection C-type natriuretic peptide Chitosan/silk fibroin scaffolds 



This study was supported by Grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51472270).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest associated with this manuscript.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of StomatologyChinese PLA General HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Biological Science and Medical EngineeringBeihang UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences and Tissue Engineering Research CenterAcademy of Military Medical SciencesBeijingChina

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