Biodegradable Poly(D-L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)-Infiltrated Bioactive Glass (CAR12N) Scaffolds Maintain Mesenchymal Stem Cell Chondrogenesis for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Clemens Gögele, Silvana Müller, Svetlana Belov, Andreas Pradel, Sven Wiltzsch, Armin Lenhart, Markus Hornfeck, Vera Kerling, Achim Rübling, Hannes Kühl, Kerstin Schäfer-Eckart, Bernd Minnich, Thomas M. Weiger, Gundula Schulze-Tanzil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regeneration of articular cartilage remains challenging. The aim of this study was to increase the stability of pure bioactive glass (BG) scaffolds by means of solvent phase polymer infiltration and to maintain cell adherence on the glass struts. Therefore, BG scaffolds either pure or enhanced with three different amounts of poly(D-L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) were characterized in detail. Scaffolds were seeded with primary porcine articular chondrocytes (pACs) and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in a dynamic long-term culture (35 days). Light microscopy evaluations showed that PLGA was detectable in every region of the scaffold. Porosity was greater than 70%. The biomechanical stability was increased by polymer infiltration. PLGA infiltration did not result in a decrease in viability of both cell types, but increased DNA and sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) contents of hMSCs-colonized scaffolds. Successful chondrogenesis of hMSC-colonized scaffolds was demonstrated by immunocytochemical staining of collagen type II, cartilage proteoglycans and the transcription factor SOX9. PLGA-infiltrated scaffolds showed a higher relative expression of cartilage related genes not only of pAC-, but also of hMSC-colonized scaffolds in comparison to the pure BG. Based on the novel data, our recommendation is BG scaffolds with single infiltrated PLGA for cartilage tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1577
Number of pages30
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • bioactive glass
  • CAR12N
  • cartilage regeneration
  • polymer infiltration
  • chondrogenesis
  • Collagen Type II/metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Swine
  • Dioxanes
  • Tissue Scaffolds/chemistry
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Cartilage, Articular/metabolism
  • Tissue Engineering

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 301 Medical-Theoretical Sciences, Pharmacy

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