Unique biomaterial compositions direct bone marrow stem cells into specific chondrocytic phenotypes corresponding to the various zones of articular cartilage
Nguyen, Lonnissa H × Kudva, Abhijit K Guckert, Nicole L Linse, Klaus D Roy, Krishnendu #
IPC Science and Technology Press
Biomaterials vol:32 issue:5 pages:1327-38
Numerous studies have reported generation of cartilage-like tissue from chondrocytes and stem cells, using pellet cultures, bioreactors and various biomaterials, especially hydrogels. However, one of the primary unsolved challenges in the field has been the inability to produce tissue that mimics the highly organized zonal architecture of articular cartilage; specifically its spatially varying mechanical properties and extra-cellular matrix (ECM) composition. Here we show that different combinations of synthetic and natural biopolymers create unique niches that can "direct" a single marrow stem cell (MSC) population to differentiate into the superficial, transitional, or deep zones of articular cartilage. Specifically, incorporating chondroitin sulfate (CS) and matrix metalloproteinase-sensitive peptides (MMP-pep) into PEG hydrogels (PEG:CS:MMP-pep) induced high levels of collagen II and low levels of proteoglycan expression resulting in a low compressive modulus, similar to the superficial zone. PEG:CS hydrogels produced intermediate-levels of both collagen II and proteoglycans, like the transitional zone, while PEG:hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels induced high proteoglycan and low collagen II levels leading to high compressive modulus, similar to the deep zone. Additionally, the compressive moduli of these zone-specific matrices following cartilage generation showed similar trend as the corresponding zones of articular cartilage, with PEG:CS:MMP-pep having the lowest compressive modulus, followed by PEG:CS while PEG:HA had the highest modulus. These results underscore the potential for composite scaffold structures incorporating these biomaterial compositions such that a single stem-progenitor cell population can give rise to zonally-organized, functional articular cartilage-like tissue.