Polymer/alginate amalgam for cartilage-tissue engineering

E. J. Caterson, W. J. Li, L. J. Nesti, T. Albert, K. Danielson, R. S. Tuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Marrow stroma-derived cells (MSC) are highly proliferative, multipotential cells that have been considered as ideal candidate cells for autologous tissue engineering applications. In this study, we have characterized the chondrogenic potential of human MSCs in both a PLA/alginate amalgam and pure PLA macrostructure as model three-dimensional constructs to support both chondrogenic differentiation and proliferation following TGF-β treatment. MSCs were seeded in experimental groups that consisted of PLA-loaded constructs and PLA/alginate amalgams with and without recombinant human TGF-β1. Chondrogenesis of the PLA and the PLA/alginate amalgam cultures was assessed at weekly intervals by histology, immunohistochemistry, scanning electron microscopy, sulfate incorporation, and RT-PCR. Chondrogenic differentiation occurs within a polymeric macrostructure with TGF-β1 treatment as indicated by histological, immunohistochemical, sulfate incorporation, and gene expression profiles. This macrostructure can be further encased in an alginate gel/solution to optimize cell shape and to confine growth factors and cells within the polymer construct, while the polymeric scaffold provides appropriate mechanical/tissue support. The stable three-dimensional PLA/alginate amalgam represents a novel candidate system of mesenchymal chondrogenesis, which is amendable to investigation of mechanical and biological factors that normally modulate cartilage development and formation as well as a potential tissue engineering construct for cartilage repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Alginate
  • Bioresorbable polymers
  • Cartilage tissue engineering
  • Marrow stromal cell


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