Tissue engineering (TE) is an emerging field for the regeneration of damaged tissues. The
combination of hydrogels with stem cells and growth factors (GFs) has become a promising
approach to promote cartilage regeneration. In this study, carrageenan-based hydrogels were
used to encapsulate both cells and transforming growth factor-b1 (TGF-b1). The ATDC5 cell
line was encapsulated to determine the cytotoxicity and the influence of polymer concentration
on cell viability and proliferation. Human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) were encapsulated
with TGF-b1 in the hydrogel networks to enhance the chondrogenic differentiation of hASCs.
Specific cartilage extracellular matrix molecules expression by hASCs were observed after
14 days of cultures of the constructs under different conditions. The k-carrageenan was found
to be a suitable biomaterial for cell and GF encapsulation. The incorporation of TGF-b1 within the
carrageenan-based hydrogel enhanced the cartilage differentiation of hASCs. These findings
indicate that this new system for cartilage TE is very promising for injectable
thermoresponsive formulation applications.