Osteochondral tissue formation through adipose-derived stromal cell differentiation on biomimetic polycaprolactone nanofibrous scaffolds with graded insulin and Beta-glycerophosphate concentrations

Tissue Eng Part A. 2011 May;17(9-10):1239-52. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0693. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


The ability to fabricate tissue engineering scaffolds containing systematic gradients in the distributions of stimulators provides additional means for the mimicking of the important gradients observed in native tissues. Here the concentration distributions of two bioactive agents were varied concomitantly for the first time (one increasing, whereas the other decreasing monotonically) in between the two sides of a nanofibrous scaffold. This was achieved via the application of a new processing method, that is, the twin-screw extrusion and electrospinning method, to generate gradients of insulin, a stimulator of chondrogenic differentiation, and β-glycerophosphate (β-GP), for mineralization. The graded poly(ɛ-caprolactone) mesh was seeded with human adipose-derived stromal cells and cultured over 8 weeks. The resulting tissue constructs were analyzed for and revealed indications of selective differentiation of human adipose-derived stromal cells toward chondrogenic lineage and mineralization as functions of position as a result of the corresponding concentrations of insulin and β-GP. Chondrogenic differentiation of the stem cells increased at insulin-rich locations and mineralization increased at β-GP-rich locations.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry*
  • Calcification, Physiologic*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrogenesis*
  • Female
  • Glycerophosphates / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyesters / chemistry*
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Scaffolds*


  • Glycerophosphates
  • Insulin
  • Polyesters
  • polycaprolactone
  • beta-glycerophosphoric acid