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eISSN: 1643-3750

A Rabbit Model of Osteochondral Regeneration Using Three-Dimensional Printed Polycaprolactone-Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds Coated with Umbilical Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Chondrocytes

Pengfei Zheng, Xinyue Hu, Yue Lou, Kai Tang

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:7361-7369

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.915441

Available online:

Published: 2019-10-01

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate a rabbit model of osteochondral regeneration using three-dimensional (3-D) printed polycaprolactone-hydroxyapatite (PCL-HA) scaffolds coated with umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSCs) and chondrocytes.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Nine female New Zealand white rabbits were included in the study. The 3-D PCL-HA scaffolds were prepared using fused deposition modeling 3-D printing technology. Seeding cells were prepared by co-culture of rabbit UCB-MSCs and chondrocytes with a ratio of 3: 1. A total of 4×10⁶ cells were seeded on 3-D PCL-HA scaffolds and implanted into rabbits with femoral trochlear defects. After 8 weeks of in vivo implantation, 12 specimens were sampled and examined using histology and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) macroscopic scores and histological results were recorded and compared with those of the unseeded PCL-HA scaffolds.
RESULTS: Mean ICRS scores for the UCB-MSCs and chondrocyte-seeded PCL-HA scaffolds (group A) were significantly higher than the normal unseeded control (NC) PCL-HA scaffold group (group B) (P<0.05). Histology with safranin-O and fast-green staining showed that the UCB chondrocyte-seeded PCL-HA scaffolds significantly promoted bone and cartilage regeneration.
CONCLUSIONS: In a rabbit model of osteochondral regeneration using 3-D printed PCL-HA scaffolds, the UCB chondrocyte-seeded PCL-HA scaffold promoted articular cartilage repair when compared with the control or non-seeded PCL-HA scaffolds.

Keywords: Chondrocytes, Coculture Techniques, Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation, Tissue Engineering