ACS biomaterials science & engineering | 2019
Mechanical and Biochemical Stimulation of 3D Multilayered Scaffolds for Tendon Tissue Engineering.
Tendon injuries are frequent and occur in the elderly, young, and athletic populations. The inadequate number of donors combined with many challenges associated with autografts, allografts, xenografts, and prosthetic devices have added to the value of engineering biological substitutes, which can be implanted to repair the damaged tendons. Electrospun scaffolds have the potential to mimic the native tissue structure along with desired mechanical properties and, thus, have attracted noticeable attention. In order to improve the biological responses of these fibrous structures, we designed and fabricated 3D multilayered composite scaffolds, where an electrospun nanofibrous substrate was coated with a thin layer of cell-laden hydrogel. The whole construct composition was optimized to achieve adequate mechanical and physical properties as well as cell viability and proliferation. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were differentiated by the addition of bone morphogenetic protein 12 (BMP-12). To mimic the natural function of tendons, the cell-laden scaffolds were mechanically stimulated using a custom-built bioreactor. The synergistic effect of mechanical and biochemical stimulation was observed in terms of enhanced cell viability, proliferation, alignment, and tenogenic differentiation. The results suggested that the proposed constructs can be used for engineering functional tendons.