This study investigated the effect of unidirectional and multidirectional motion patterns on gene expression and molecule release of chondrocyte-seeded 3D scaffolds. Resorbable porous polyurethane scaffolds were seeded with bovine articular chondrocytes and exposed to dynamic compression, applied with a ceramic hip ball, alone (group 1), with superimposed rotation of the scaffold around its cylindrical axis (group 2), oscillation of the ball over the scaffold surface (group 3), or oscillation of ball and scaffold in phase difference (group 4). Compared with group 1, the proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) mRNA expression levels were markedly increased by ball oscillation (groups 3 and 4). Furthermore, the collagen type II mRNA expression was enhanced in the groups 3 and 4, while the aggrecan and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP-3) mRNA expression levels were upregulated by multidirectional articular motion (group 4). Ball oscillation (groups 3 and 4) also increased the release of PRG4, COMP, and hyaluronan (HA) into the culture media. This indicates that the applied stimuli can contribute to the maintenance of the chondrocytic phenotype of the cells. The mechanical effects causing cell stimulation by applied surface motion might be related to fluid film buildup and/or frictional shear at the scaffold-ball interface. It is suggested that the oscillating ball drags the fluid into the joint space, thereby causing biophysical effects similar to those of fluid flow.