A combination of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and scaffolds seems to be a promising approach for meniscus repair. To facilitate the search for an appropriate scaffold material a reliable and objective in vitro testing system is essential. This paper introduces a new scoring for this purpose and analyzes a hyaluronic acid (HA) gelatin composite scaffold and a polyurethane scaffold in combination with MSCs for tissue engineering of meniscus. The pore quality and interconnectivity of pores of a HA gelatin composite scaffold and a polyurethane scaffold were analyzed by surface photography and Berliner-Blau-BSA-solution vacuum filling. Further the two scaffold materials were vacuum-filled with human MSCs and analyzed by histology and immunohistochemistry after 21 days in chondrogenic media to determine cell distribution and cell survival as well as proteoglycan production, collagen type I and II content. The polyurethane scaffold showed better results than the hyaluronic acid gelatin composite scaffold, with signs of central necrosis in the HA gelatin composite scaffolds. The polyurethane scaffold showed good porosity, excellent pore interconnectivity, good cell distribution and cell survival, as well as an extensive content of proteoglycans and collagen type II. The polyurethane scaffold seems to be a promising biomaterial for a mesenchymal stem cell-based tissue engineering approach for meniscal repair. The new score could be applied as a new standard for in vitro scaffold testing.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics