A silk fibroin/chitosan scaffold in combination with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells to repair cartilage defects in the rabbit knee
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Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) were seeded in a three-dimensional scaffold of silk fibroin (SF) and chitosan (CS) to repair cartilage defects in the rabbit knee. Totally 54 rabbits were randomly assigned to BMSCs + SF/CS scaffold, SF/CS scaffold and control groups. A cylindrical defect was created at the patellofemoral facet of the right knee of each rabbit and repaired by scaffold respectively. Samples were prepared at 4, 8 and 12 weeks post-surgery for gross observation, hematoxylin–eosin and toluidine blue staining, type II collagen immunohistochemistry, Wakitani histology. The results showed that differentiated BMSCs proliferated well in the scaffold. In the BMSCs + SF/CS scaffold group, the bone defect was nearly repaired, the scaffold was absorbed and immunohistochemistry was positive. In the SF/CS scaffold alone group, fiber-like tissues were observed, the scaffold was nearly degraded and immunohistochemistry was weakly positive. In the control group, the defect was not well repaired and positive immunoreactions were not detected. Modified Wakitani scores were superior in the BMSCs + SF/CS scaffold group compared with those in other groups at 4, 8 and 12 weeks (P < 0.05). A SF/CS scaffold can serve as carrier for stem cells to repair cartilage defects and may be used for cartilage tissue engineering.
KeywordsSilk Fibroin Cartilage Defect Cartilage Tissue Scaffold Material Normal Cartilage
Supported by the Science and Technology Program Foundation of Guizhou Province, No. 2172.
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