Effect of chitosan scaffold microstructure on mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenesis

Guillaume R. Ragetly, Dominique J. Griffon, Hae Beom Lee, L. Page Fredericks, Wanda Gordon-Evans, Yong Sik Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Although numerous biomaterials have been investigated as scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering, the effect of their microstructure on final construct characteristics remains unclear. The biocompatibility of chitosan and its similarity with glycosaminoglycans make it attractive as a scaffold for cartilage engineering. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of chitosan scaffold structure on mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and chondrogenesis. Chitosan fibrous scaffolds and chitosan sponges were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells in a chondrogenic medium. Constructs were analyzed 72 h after seeding via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), weight measurements and DNA quantification. Constructs were cultured for 10 or 21 days prior to confocal microscopy, SEM, histology, quantitative analysis (weight, DNA and glycosaminoglycan (GAG)), and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Mesenchymal stem cells maintained a viability above 90% on all chitosan scaffolds. The cell numbers in the constructs were similar at 72 h, 10 days and 21 days. However, matrix production was improved in chitosan fibrous constructs based on the GAG quantification and collagen II mRNA expression. Chondrogenesis on chitosan scaffolds is superior on microfibers compared to macroporous sponges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1436
Number of pages7
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Cartilage engineering
  • Chitosan
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Scaffold structure

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