The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of a composite matrix, containing esterified hyaluronic acid and gelatin, to facilitate the osteochondral differentiation of culture-expanded, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells. The cell loading characteristics and the effects of the matrix on cell differentiation were examined in vitro and in vivo. Empty and cell-loaded composites were cultivated for up to 28 days in a chemically defined medium with or without transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). A type II collagen-rich extracellular matrix was produced by cells loaded in the matrix and cultured in the presence of TGF-β1. Empty and cell- loaded matrices were also implanted subcutaneously in immunodeficient mice. Three types of implant were used: empty (group I), cell-loaded matrices (Group II), and cell-loaded matrices cultured for 14 days in vitro in defined medium with TGF-β1 (group III). No osteochondral differentiation was found in implanted empty matrices; however, the matrix supported osteochondrogenic cell differentiation in the cell-loaded implants. Preculture in vitro in a chondrogenic medium increased the percentage of osteochondral tissue found in the constructs after 3 weeks. These results indicate the potential use of this composite matrix for delivery of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells for the repair of chondral and osseous defects. The results also indicate that this composite matrix is useful for in vitro tissue engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology