Comparison of the synthetic biodegradable polymers, polylactide (PLA), and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) as scaffolds for artificial cartilage


Chondrocytes are easily de-differentiated when cultured in monolayer, and tissue-engineered cartilage can be generated by seeding chondrocytes onto three-dimensional porous synthetic biodegradable polymers. In this study, we investigated the biochemical and molecular aspects of chondrocytes in a monolayer-culture system and selected the optimal subculture passages based on their de-differentiation. We also compared two commonly used synthetic biodegradable polymers, polylactide (PLA), and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), for their suitability as scaffolds for artificial cartilage. De-differentiated chondrocytes were observed after two passages. These results suggested that the first cell passage was optimal for seeding as only a few chondrocytes secreted extracellular matrix components to form homogeneously compact cartilage. Substantially increased glycosaminoglycan and total collagen levels revealed that PLGA scaffolds were a better option for inducing cartilage tissue formation compared to the PLA scaffolds. Histological and immunohistochemical results showed that chondrocytes seeded into PLGA retained their morphological phenotype to a greater extent than those seeded into PLA.

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Correspondence to Hwal Suh or Seung Hwa Hong.

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Lee, N.K., Oh, H.J., Hong, C.M. et al. Comparison of the synthetic biodegradable polymers, polylactide (PLA), and polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) as scaffolds for artificial cartilage. Biotechnol Bioproc E 14, 180–186 (2009).

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  • artificial cartilage
  • biodegradation
  • polymer
  • chondrocyte
  • biocompatibility
  • biological safety