Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics Research Group

Conference Abstract -ISI Web of Science Indexed

Cell encapsulation system using beads and fibres from natural origin polymers for cartilage tissue engineering applications


The ideal cell-carrier material for cartilage regeneration should closely mimic the natural environment in a living articular cartilage matrix.

Natural based hydrogel like alginate-carrageenan and chitosan (Alg-Car-Ch) can provide excellent supports for chondrocyte encapsulation due to their adequate mechanical strength to maintain the initial shape of the implanted scaffold and sustain cells proliferation and differentiation. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the encapsulation behavior of a chondrocyte cell line ATCD5 into Alg-Car and Alg-Car coated with chitosan polymer. Alginate beads and fibres were used as controls.

Spherical beads have been prepared by an extrusion technique and the fibres were prepared using a coagulation bath. Different formulations of beads and fibers, and different coagulation bath were considered in order to determine the best conditions.

The formulations used in this study were characterized by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and rheometer measurements.

Preliminary biological tests were performed by encapsulating ATCD5 (1x106cells/ml) onto the developed beads and fibres for 1, 3, 7, 14 day of culturing. Cells-beads/fibres were characterized in terms of viability (MTS assay), proliferation (DNA) and specific markers for cartilage. The obtained results indicated that the different formulations showed good cellular viability and proliferation after 14 days both in beads and fibres. On the basis of these results, we conclude that alginate-carrageenan chitosan polymer formulations both in spherical beads and fibers have a considerable potential as a cell-carrier material for cartilage tissue engineering application. 

Tissue Engineering Part A
carrageenan, Hydrogels
Open Access
Peer Reviewed
Year of Publication
Date Published
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