- Tampere University
- Tampere University of Technology
- University of Helsinki
Scaffolds for articular cartilage repair have to be optimally biodegradable with simultaneous promotion of hyaline cartilage formation under rather complex biomechanical and physiological conditions. It has been generally accepted that scaffold structure and composition would be the best when it mimics the structure of native cartilage. However, a reparative construct mimicking the mature native tissue in a healing tissue site presents a biological mismatch of reparative stimuli. In this work, we studied a new recombinant human type III collagen-polylactide (rhCol-PLA) scaffolds. The rhCol-PLA scaffolds were assessed for their relative performance in simulated synovial fluids of 1 and 4 mg/mL sodium hyaluronate with application of model-free analysis with Biomaterials Enhanced Simulation Test (BEST). Pure PLA scaffold was used as a control. The BEST results were compared to the results of a prior in vivo study with rhCol-PLA. Collectively the data indicated that a successful articular cartilage repair require lower stiffness of the scaffold compared to surrounding cartilage yet matching the strain compliance both in static and dynamic conditions. This ensures an optimal combination of load transfer and effective oscillatory nutrients supply to the cells. The results encourage further development of intelligent scaffold structures for optimal articular cartilage repair rather than simply trying to imitate the respective original tissue.