Chondrocyte Attachment, Proliferation, and Differentiation on Three-Dimensional Polycaprolactone Fumarate Scaffolds

Eric R. Wagner, Joshua Parry, Mahrokh Dadsetan, Dalibel Bravo, Scott M. Riester, Andre J van Wijnen, Michael J Yaszemski, Sanjeev Kakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Current treatment options for cartilage injuries are limited. The goals of this study are to create a biodegradable polymer scaffold with the capabilities of sustaining chondrocyte growth and proliferation, enable cell-to-cell communication and tissue regeneration through large pores, and assess the biological augmentation of the scaffold capabilities using platelet lysate (PL). We synthesized biodegradable polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF) scaffolds to allow cell-cell communication through large interconnected pores. Molds were printed using a three-dimensional printer and scaffolds synthesized through UV crosslinking. Culture medium included alpha modified Eagle's media with either 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) or 5% PL, a mixture of platelet release products, after being seeded onto scaffolds through a dynamic bioreactor. Assays included cellular proliferation (MTS), toxicity and viability (live/dead immunostaining), differentiation (glycosaminoglycan [GAG], alkaline phosphatase [ALP], and total collagen), and immunostaining for chondrogenic markers collagen II and Sox 9 (with collagen I as a negative control). The large interconnected pores (500 and 750 μm) enable cell-to-cell communication and cellular infiltration into the scaffolds, as the cells remained viable and proliferated for 2 weeks. Chondrocytes cultured in PL showed increased rates of proliferation when compared with FBS. The chondrogenic markers GAG and total collagen contents increased over 2 weeks at each time point, whereas the osteogenic marker ALP did not significantly change. Immunostaining at 2 and 4 weeks for the expression of chondrogenic markers Collagen II and Sox 9 was increased when compared with control human fibroblasts. These results show that the PCLF polymer scaffold enables chondrocytes to attach, proliferate, and retain their chondrogenic phenotypes, demonstrating potential in chondrocyte engineering and cartilage regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • chondrocyte attachment
  • PCLF cartilage
  • polycaprolactone fumerate scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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