Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded on specific carrier materials are a promising source for the repair of traumatic cartilage injuries. The best supportive carrier material has not yet been determined. As natural components of cartilage’s extracellular matrix, hyaluronic acid and collagen are the focus of biomaterial research. In order to optimize chondrogenic support, we investigated three different scaffold compositions of a hyaluronic acid (HA)-gelatin based biomaterial. Methods: Human MSCs (hMSCs) were seeded under vacuum on composite scaffolds of three different HA-gelatin ratios and cultured in chondrogenic medium for 21 days. Cell-scaffold constructs were assessed at different time points for cell viability, gene expression patterns, production of cartilage-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) and for (immuno-)histological appearance. The intrinsic transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) uptake of empty scaffolds was evaluated by determination of the TGF-beta concentrations in the medium over time. Results: No significant differences were found for cell seeding densities and cell viability. hMSCs seeded on scaffolds with higher ratios of HA showed better cartilage-like differentiation in all evaluated parameters. TGF-beta uptake did not differ between empty scaffolds. Conclusion: Higher ratios of HA support the chondrogenic differentiation of hMSCs seeded on a HA-gelatin composite scaffold.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics