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Development of a Silk Cable-Reinforced Gelatin/Silk Fibroin Hybrid Scaffold for Ligament Tissue Engineering

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The objective of this study was to develop a silk cable-reinforced gelatin/silk fibroin hybrid scaffold for ligament tissue engineering. The scaffold was fabricated by lyophilizing the cross-linked gelatin and silk fibroin mixture with braided silk cables. Scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) observation showed that microporous gelatin/silk fibroin sponges formed around silk cables mimicked the microstructures of ligament extracellular matrix (ECM). The silk cables significantly increased the tensile strength of the scaffold to meet the mechanical requirements for ligament tissue engineering. The scaffold possessed good cell adhesion property, and when mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were seeded on it, cells proliferated profusely. After 2 weeks of culture, seeded MSCs were distributed uniformly throughout the scaffold and were highly viable. Occurrence of cell death during culture was not significant. Deposition of collagen on the scaffold was found to increase with time. Differentiation of MSCs into ligament fibroblasts was verified by expressions of ligament ECM specific genes including collagen type I, collagen type III, and tenascin-C in mRNA and protein level. Immunohistochemistry stains also confirmed the production of key ligament ECM components on the scaffold. The results demonstrate that silk cable-reinforced gelatin/silk fibroin scaffold possesses the appropriate mechanical properties and has enlarged surface area. It is also capable of supporting cell proliferation and differentiation for ligament tissue engineering.
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Keywords: Extracellular matrix; Ligament; Mesenchymal stem cells; Silk scaffold; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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