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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of a Cell-Free Collagen Type I-Based Scaffold for Articular Cartilage Regeneration in an Orthotopic Rat Model

1
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Anatomy, Histology and Movement Sciences Section, School of Medicine, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
2
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Physiology Section, School of Medicine, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
3
Fin-Ceramica Faenza, 48018 Faenza, Italy
4
Istituto Oncologico del Mediterraneo (IOM), 95029 Viagrande, 95123 Catania, Italy
5
School of Life Science, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW 123, Australia
6
Discipline of Anatomy & Histology, School of Medical Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 123, Australia
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Research Center on Motor Activities (CRAM), University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
8
Department of Biology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Materials 2020, 13(10), 2369; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13102369
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 16 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biomedical and Biomimetic Materials)
The management of chondral defects represents a big challenge because of the limited self-healing capacity of cartilage. Many approaches in this field obtained partial satisfactory results. Cartilage tissue engineering, combining innovative scaffolds and stem cells from different sources, emerges as a promising strategy for cartilage regeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the capability of a cell-free collagen I-based scaffold to promote cartilaginous repair after orthotopic implantation in vivo. Articular cartilage lesions (ACL) were created at the femoropatellar groove in rat knees and cell free collagen I-based scaffolds (S) were then implanted into right knee defect for the ACL-S group. No scaffold was implanted for the ACL group. At 4-, 8- and 16-weeks post-transplantation, degrees of cartilage repair were evaluated by morphological, histochemical and gene expression analyses. Histological analysis shows the formation of fibrous tissue, at 4-weeks replaced by a tissue resembling the calcified one at 16-weeks in the ACL group. In the ACL-S group, progressive replacement of the scaffold with the newly formed cartilage-like tissue is shown, as confirmed by Alcian Blue staining. Immunohistochemical and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses display the expression of typical cartilage markers, such as collagen type I and II (ColI and ColII), Aggrecan and Sox9. The results of this study display that the collagen I-based scaffold is highly biocompatible and able to recruit host cells from the surrounding joint tissues to promote cartilaginous repair of articular defects, suggesting its use as a potential approach for cartilage tissue regeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: articular cartilage lesion; cartilage regeneration; cartilage tissue engineering; collagen I-based scaffold; orthotopic implantation articular cartilage lesion; cartilage regeneration; cartilage tissue engineering; collagen I-based scaffold; orthotopic implantation
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Szychlinska, M.A.; Calabrese, G.; Ravalli, S.; Dolcimascolo, A.; Castrogiovanni, P.; Fabbi, C.; Puglisi, C.; Lauretta, G.; Di Rosa, M.; Castorina, A.; Parenti, R.; Musumeci, G. Evaluation of a Cell-Free Collagen Type I-Based Scaffold for Articular Cartilage Regeneration in an Orthotopic Rat Model. Materials 2020, 13, 2369.

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