Introduction: Chondrogenic differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) has proven to be feasible. To compensate for laryngeal palsy or cartilage defects after surgery or trauma using tissue engineering, a formable and stable scaffold material is mandatory.
Methods: ASCs were seeded in fibrin-polyurethane scaffolds and cultured in chondrogenic differentiation medium adding the growth factors TGF-b1, TGF-b3, and BMP-2 for up to 35 days.
Results: Histological examination showed acid glycosaminoglycans in the extracellular matrix in all groups. Immunofluorescence presented positive staining for collagen II, aggrecan, and SOX-9 in the TGF-b1-, TGF-b3-, and BMP-2-group. With Real-time PCR analyses, chondrogenic differentiation became apparent by the expression of the specific genes COL2A1 (collagen II), AGC 1 (aggrecan), and SOX-9, whereas collagen II expression was low in all groups compared to bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSC) due to reduced chondrogenic ability.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the general ability of ASCs to differentiate into matrix-producing chondrocytes in fibrin-polyurethane scaffolds. However, further experiments are necessary to enhance this chondrogenic potential of ASCs seeded in fibrin-polyurethane scaffolds in order to produce a suitable regeneration method for treating cartilage defects or an implantable medialization material for vocal cord palsy.