Published: October-2 2021
Meniscus injury and meniscectomy are strongly related to osteoarthritis, thus there is a clinical need for meniscus replacement. The purpose of this study is to create a meniscus scaffold with micro-scale circumferential and radial fibres suitable for a one-stage cell-based treatment. Poly-caprolactone-based scaffolds with three different architectures were made using melt electrowriting (MEW) technology and their in vitro performance was compared with scaffolds made using fused-deposition modelling (FDM) and with the clinically used Collagen Meniscus Implants® (CMI®). The scaffolds were seeded with meniscus and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in fibrin gel and cultured for 28 d. A basal level of proteoglycan production was demonstrated in MEW scaffolds, the CMI®, and fibrin gel control, yet within the FDM scaffolds less proteoglycan production was observed. Compressive properties were assessed under uniaxial confined compression after 1 and 28 d of culture. The MEW scaffolds showed a higher Young’s modulus when compared to the CMI® scaffolds and a higher yield point compared to FDM scaffolds. This study demonstrates the feasibility of creating a wedge-shaped meniscus scaffold with MEW using medical-grade materials and seeding the scaffold with a clinically-feasible cell number and -type for potential translation as a one-stage treatment.
Full Access Link: International Journal of Molecular Sciences