Comparative Study of Electrospun Scaffolds Containing Native GAGs and a GAG Mimetic for Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Chondrogenesis

Roseline Menezes, Treena L. Arinzeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Articular cartilage has limited healing and self-repair capability. Damage to articular cartilage becomes irreversible leading to osteoarthritis, which can impact a person’s quality of life. Approximately, 5–10% of cartilage tissue is made up of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which sequester growth factors as well as provide structural integrity to the native cartilage tissue. This study evaluated the chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on gelatin-based scaffolds containing partially sulfated cellulose (pSC), a GAG mimetic derived from cellulose, in comparison to native GAGs, chondroitin sulfate-A (CS-A) and chondroitin sulfate-C (CS-C), where pSC has similarity to CS-C in terms of degree and pattern of sulfation. Scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning gelatin with pSC or the native GAGs. All scaffolds consist of fibers having average diameters of approximately 3 μm and inter-fiber spacing of approximately 30 μm and were hydrolytically stable throughout the culture. MSCs cultured on pSC containing scaffolds showed early production of sulfated GAGs and higher collagen type II to type I ratio than native GAGs. Among the native GAGs, chondrogenesis was promoted to a greater extent for CS-C in comparison to CS-A containing scaffolds, which suggests the pattern of sulfation impacts chondrogenesis. Partially sulfated cellulose could be used as a potential GAG mimic for cartilage tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2040-2052
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Cartilage repair
  • Cellulose sulfate
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Electrospun fiber
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Mesenchymal stem cells


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