Tuning Cell Differentiation into a 3D Scaffold Presenting a Pore Shape Gradient for Osteochondral Regeneration

Andrea Di Luca, Ivan Lorenzo-Moldero, Carlos Mota, Antonio Lepedda, Dietmar Auhl, Clemens Van Blitterswijk, Lorenzo Moroni*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Osteochondral regeneration remains nowadays a major problem since the outcome of current techniques is not satisfactory in terms of functional tissue formation and development. A possible solution is the combination of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) with additive manufacturing technologies to fabricate scaffolds with instructive properties. In this study, the differentiation of hMSCs within a scaffold presenting a gradient in pore shape is presented. The variation in pore shape is determined by varying the angle formed by the fibers of two consequent layers. The fiber deposition patterns are 0-90, which generate squared pores, 0-45, 0-30, and 0-15, that generate rhomboidal pores with an increasing major axis as the deposition angle decreases. Within the gradient construct, squared pores support a better chondrogenic differentiation whereas cells residing in the rhomboidal pores display a better osteogenic differentiation. When cultured under osteochondral conditions the trend in both osteogenic and chondrogenic markers is maintained. Engineering the pore shape, thus creating axial gradients in structural properties, seems to be an instructive strategy to fabricate functional 3D scaffolds that are able to influence hMSCs differentiation for osteochondral tissue regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1763
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2016

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