Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition 2017 10 19() 1-19 doi 10.1080/09205063.2017.1394712
An ideal tissue-engineered scaffold must provide sufficient porosity to allow free movement of cells, nutrients, and oxygen for proper cell growth and further maintenance. Owing to variation in pore sizes and shapes of as-fabricated scaffold, the amount of oxygen available for the cells attached to the scaffold and transfer of by-products and excrement will be different, which ultimately results in cell activity.Thus, optimizing pore size and porosity of a scaffold for a specific tissue regeneration are one of the key highlights, which should be considered while designing a scaffold as well as choosing a specific cell type. In this study, three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds based on blends of duck’s feet collagen (DC) and poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) with different pore sizes i.e. 90-180, 180-250, 250-355 and 355-425 μm were prepared using solvent casting/salt leaching approachand examined its effects on chondrification.The morphological analysis of the as-fabricated scaffolds wasperformed using SEMfor studying porosity and pore size. The cell proliferation and gene expression were investigated after culturing costal chondrocytes on each scaffolds using 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and qRT-PCR. Histological staining of in vivo implants was performed in nude mice as models. The biological evaluation showed a pore-size dependent chondrification at different time points. Especially, the 355-425 μm DC/PLGA scaffold showed a highest positive impact on maintenance of cell proliferation, costal chondrocyte phenotype and increased GAG accumulation than the other groups. These results indicated that DC/PLGA scaffolds with pore size ranging from 250-425 μm can be considered as highly-suitable constructs for enhanced chondrification.