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Open AccessArticle

Thermogel-Coated Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Composite Scaffold for Enhanced Cartilage Tissue Engineering

1
Institute of Sports Medicine, Beijing Key Laboratory of Sports Injuries, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
2
Key Laboratory of Polymer Ecomaterials, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this study.
Academic Editor: Russell E. Gorga
Polymers 2016, 8(5), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8050200
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 7 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
A three-dimensional (3D) composite scaffold was prepared for enhanced cartilage tissue engineering, which was composed of a poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) backbone network and a poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA–PEG–PLGA) thermogel surface. The composite scaffold not only possessed adequate mechanical strength similar to native osteochondral tissue as a benefit of the PCL backbone, but also maintained cell-friendly microenvironment of the hydrogel. The PCL network with homogeneously-controlled pore size and total pore interconnectivity was fabricated by fused deposition modeling (FDM), and was impregnated into the PLGA–PEG–PLGA solution at low temperature (e.g., 4 °C). The PCL/Gel composite scaffold was obtained after gelation induced by incubation at body temperature (i.e., 37 °C). The composite scaffold showed a greater number of cell retention and proliferation in comparison to the PCL platform. In addition, the composite scaffold promoted the encapsulated mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to differentiate chondrogenically with a greater amount of cartilage-specific matrix production compared to the PCL scaffold or thermogel. Therefore, the 3D PCL/Gel composite scaffold may exhibit great potential for in vivo cartilage regeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermogel; coating; scaffold; mesenchymal stromal cells; cartilage regeneration thermogel; coating; scaffold; mesenchymal stromal cells; cartilage regeneration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, S.-J.; Zhang, Z.-Z.; Jiang, D.; Qi, Y.-S.; Wang, H.-J.; Zhang, J.-Y.; Ding, J.-X.; Yu, J.-K. Thermogel-Coated Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Composite Scaffold for Enhanced Cartilage Tissue Engineering. Polymers 2016, 8, 200.

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