Intervertebral disc tissue engineering using a novel hyaluronic acid-nanofibrous scaffold (HANFS) amalgam

Leon J. Nesti, Wan Ju Li, Rabie M. Shanti, Yi Jen Jiang, Wesley Jackson, Brett A. Freedman, Timothy R. Kuklo, Jeffrey R. Giuliani, Rocky S. Tuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


Degeneration of the intervertebral disc (IVD) represents a significant musculoskeletal disease burden. Although spinal fusion has some efficacy in pain management, spine biomechanics is ultimately compromised. In addition, there is inherent limitation of hardware-based IVD replacement prostheses, which underscores the importance of biological approaches to disc repair. In this study, we have seeded multipotent, adult human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into a novel biomaterial amalgam to develop a biphasic construct that consisted of electrospun, biodegradable nanofibrous scaffold (NFS) enveloping a hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel center. The seeded MSCs were induced to undergo chondrogenesis in vitro in the presence of transforming growth factor-β for up to 28 days. The cartilaginous hyaluronic acid-nanofibrous scaffold (HANFS) construct architecturally resembled a native IVD, with an outer annulus fibrosus-like region and inner nucleus pulposus-like region. Histological and biochemical analyses, immunohistochemistry, and gene expression profiling revealed the time-dependent development of chondrocytic phenotype of the seeded cells. The cells also maintain the microarchitecture of a native IVD. Taken together, these findings suggest the prototypic potential of MSC-seeded HANFS constructs for the tissue engineering of biological replacements of degenerated IVD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1537
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A.
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


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