Potential of melt electrowritten scaffolds seeded with meniscus cells and mesenchymal stromal cells

Jasmijn V. Korpershoek, Mylène de Ruijter, Bastiaan F. Terhaard, Michella H. Hagmeijer, Daniël B.F. Saris, Miguel Castilho, Jos Malda and Lucienne A. Vonk

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