Mechanically Reinforced Extracellular Matrix Scaffold for Application of Cartilage Tissue Engineering

  • Hyun Ju Oh
  • Soon Hee Kim
  • Jae-Ho Cho
  • Sang-Hyug Park
  • Byoung-Hyun Min
Original Article


Scaffolds with cartilage-like environment and suitable physical properties are critical for tissue-engineered cartilage repair. In this study, decellularized porcine cartilage-derived extracellular matrix (ECM) was utilized to fabricate ECM scaffolds. Mechanically reinforced ECM scaffolds were developed by combining salt-leaching and crosslinking for cartilage repair. The developed scaffolds were investigated with respect to their physicochemical properties and their cartilage tissue formation ability. The mechanically reinforced ECM scaffold showed similar mechanical strength to that of synthetic PLGA scaffold and expressed higher levels of cartilage-specific markers compared to those expressed by the ECM scaffold prepared by simple freeze-drying. These results demonstrated that the physical properties of ECM-derived scaffolds could be influenced by fabrication method, which provides suitable environments for the growth of chondrocytes. By extension, this study suggests a promising approach of natural biomaterials in cartilage tissue engineering.


Extracellular matrix scaffold Scaffold fabrication Cartilage regeneration Chemical crosslinking 



This research was supported by the National Research Foundation Grant (NRF-2017R1C1B2008327) and funded by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute in Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C0744).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

All experimental protocols were approved by the Institutional Review Board at Ajou University (Approval No. AJIRB-MED-SMP-10-266).

Supplementary material

13770_2018_114_MOESM1_ESM.tif (58.1 mb)
Supplementary figure 1 Mechanical strengths comparison of native cartilage, PLGA-br, PCP-br and PCP-sp. (TIFF 59459 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Science and TechnologyAjou UniversitySuwonKorea
  2. 2.Cell Therapy Center, Ajou University Medical Center, Ajou UniversitySuwonKorea
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, School of MedicineAjou UniversitySuwonKorea
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical EngineeringPukyong National UniversityBusanKorea
  5. 5.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, School of MedicineAjou UniversitySuwonKorea

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