Attachment, Proliferation, and Chondroinduction of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Porous Chitosan-Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds

Steven Elder*, 1, Anuhya Gottipati1, Hilary Zelenka 1, Joel Bumgardner2
1 Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

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© Elder et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box 9632, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA; Tel: 662-325-9107; E-mail:


Symptomatic osteochondral lesions occur frequently, but relatively few treatment options are currently available. The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation into a new tissue engineering approach to osteochondral regeneration. The concept is a biphasic construct consisting of a porous, osteoconductive chitosan-calcium phosphate scaffold supporting a layer of neocartilage formed by marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Two experiments were conducted to assess the feasibility of this approach. The first experiment characterized the attachment efficiency and proliferation of primary human marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells seeded relatively sparely onto the scaffold’s surface. The second experiment compared two different methods of creating a biphasic construct using a much higher density of primary porcine marrow stromal cells. About 40% of the sparsely seeded human cells attached and proliferated rapidly. Constructs formed by one of the two experimental techniques exhibited a layer of cartilaginous tissue which only partially covered the scaffold’s surface due to inadequate adhesion between the cells and the scaffold. This study demonstrates some potential for the approach to yield an implantable biphasic construct, but further development is required to improve cell-scaffold adhesion.

Keywords: : Chitosan, calcium phosphate, mesenchymal stem cells, cartilage, tissue engineering..