Scaffold

Biocompatible material as scaffold is an important component in cartilage tissue engineering for developing the neocartilage with the right biochemical and mechanical properties [29,30]. Scaffold in cartilage tissue engineering is expected to provide support for tissue growth and is expected to degrade favorably when the ECM of developing tissue takes over. Scaffolds are chosen for their suitable mechanical and cell adhesion properties. Three-dimensional porous scaffold also allows upkeep of nutrient transport and waste disposal, the two important cell functions [25,31,32]. Hydrogels are considered an excellent scaffolding material because of their ability to entrap cells and bioactive molecules, as well as efficient mass transfer diffusion properties. Both natural and synthetic hydrogels have been tested successfully for cartilage tissue engineering. Among the natural hydrogels, collagen, fibrin glue, agarose, alginate, hyaluronic acid, chitosan, and cellulose are some that have been shown to be effective in cartilage tissue engineering [26,29,33]. Increasingly, synthetic and/or composite polymers are used as scaffolds because of the ease of tuning mechanical properties, pore volume, and surface characteristics. A few examples are poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), PEGDA, carbon nanotubes and fibers, dacron and teflon, and PuraMatrix hydrogels [30,34].

 
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