* Fabrication and Characterization of Biphasic Silk Fibroin Scaffolds for Tendon/Ligament-to-Bone Tissue Engineering

Sònia Font Tellado*, Walter Bonani, Elizabeth R Balmayor, Peter Foehr, Antonella Motta, Claudio Migliaresi, Martijn van Griensven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Tissue engineering is an attractive strategy for tendon/ligament-to-bone interface repair. The structure and extracellular matrix composition of the interface are complex and allow for a gradual mechanical stress transfer between tendons/ligaments and bone. Thus, scaffolds mimicking the structural features of the native interface may be able to better support functional tissue regeneration. In this study, we fabricated biphasic silk fibroin scaffolds designed to mimic the gradient in collagen molecule alignment present at the interface. The scaffolds had two different pore alignments: anisotropic at the tendon/ligament side and isotropic at the bone side. Total porosity ranged from 50% to 80% and the majority of pores (80-90%) were <100-300 μm. Young's modulus varied from 689 to 1322 kPa depending on the type of construct. In addition, human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on the scaffolds to evaluate the effect of pore morphology on cell proliferation and gene expression. Biphasic scaffolds supported cell attachment and influenced cytoskeleton organization depending on pore alignment. In addition, the gene expression of tendon/ligament, enthesis, and cartilage markers significantly changed depending on pore alignment in each region of the scaffolds. In conclusion, the biphasic scaffolds fabricated in this study show promising features for tendon/ligament-to-bone tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-872
Number of pages14
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anisotropy
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone and Bones/drug effects
  • Cell Death/drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation/drug effects
  • Cell Shape/drug effects
  • Cell Survival/drug effects
  • Fibroins/pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects
  • Humans
  • Ligaments/drug effects
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology
  • Porosity
  • Tendons/drug effects
  • Tissue Engineering/methods
  • Tissue Scaffolds/chemistry

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