Ovine mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenesis on a novel 3D-printed hybrid scaffold in vitro

Arianna De Mori, Agathe Heyraud, Francesca Tallia, Gordon Blunn, Julian R. Jones, Tosca Roncada, Justin Cobb, Talal Al-Jabri

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This study evaluated the use of silica/poly(tetrahydrofuran)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (SiO2/PTHF/PCL-diCOOH) 3D-printed scaffolds, with channel sizes of either 200 (SC-200) or 500 (SC-500) µm, as biomaterials to support the chondrogenesis of sheep bone marrow stem cells (oBMSC), under in vitro conditions. The objective was to validate the potential use of SiO2/PTHF/PCL-diCOOH for prospective in vivo ovine studies. The behaviour of oBMSC, with and without the use of exogenous growth factors, on SiO2/PTHF/PCL-diCOOH scaffolds was investigated by analysing cell attachment, viability, proliferation, morphology, expression of chondrogenic genes (RT-qPCR), deposition of aggrecan, collagen II, and collagen I (immunohistochemistry), and quantification of sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The results showed that all the scaffolds supported cell attachment and proliferation with upregulation of chondrogenic markers and the deposition of a cartilage extracellular matrix (collagen II and aggrecan). Notably, SC-200 showed superior performance in terms of cartilage gene expression. These findings demonstrated that SiO2/PTHF/PCL-diCOOH with 200 µm pore size are optimal for promoting chondrogenic differentiation of oBMSC, even without the use of growth factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2024


  • sheep
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • chondrogenesis
  • polycaprolactone
  • 3D printing
  • silica
  • tetrahydrofuran
  • human
  • cell differentiation
  • UKRI
  • EP/S025782/1
  • EP/X52556X/1

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