Purpose: Surgical reconstruction of intra-articular ligament injuries is hampered by the poor regenerative potential of the tissue. We hypothesized that a novel composite polymer "neoligament" seeded with progenitor cells and growth factors would be effective in regenerating native ligamentous tissue. Methods: We synthesized a fumarate-derivative of polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF) to create macro-porous scaffolds to allow cell-cell communication and nutrient flow. Clinical grade human adipose tissue-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs) were cultured in 5% human platelet lysate (PL) and seeded on scaffolds using a dynamic bioreactor. Cell growth, viability, and differentiation were examined using metabolic assays and immunostaining for ligament-related markers (e.g., glycosaminoglycans [GAGs], alkaline phosphatase [ALP], collagens, and tenascin-C). Results: AMSCs seeded on three-dimensional (3D) PCLF scaffolds remain viable for at least 2 weeks with proliferating cells filling the pores. AMSC proliferation rates increased in PL compared to fetal bovine serum (FBS) (p<0.05). Cells had a low baseline expression of ALP and GAG, but increased expression of total collagen when induced by the ligament and tenogenic growth factor fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2), especially when cultured in the presence of PL (p<0.01) instead of FBS (p<0.05). FGF-2 and PL also significantly increased immunostaining of tenascin-C and collagen at 2 and 4 weeks compared with human fibroblasts. Summary: Our results demonstrate that AMSCs proliferate and eventually produce a collagen-rich extracellular matrix on porous PCLF scaffolds. This novel scaffold has potential in stem cell engineering and ligament regeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering