The angle-ply multilaminate structure of the annulus fibrosus is not reestablished following discectomy which leads to reherniation of the intervertebral disc (IVD). Biomimetic scaffolds developed to repair these defects should be evaluated for their ability to support tissue regeneration by endogenous and exogenous cells. Herein a collagen-based, angle-ply multilaminate patch designed to repair the outer annulus fibrosus was assessed for its ability to support mesenchymal stromal and annulus fibrosus cell viability, elongation, alignment, extracellular matrix gene expression, and scaffold remodeling. Results demonstrated that the cells remained viable, elongated, and aligned along the collagen fiber preferred direction of the scaffold, upregulated genes associated with annulus fibrosus matrix and produced collagen on the scaffold yielding biaxial mechanical properties that resembled native annulus fibrosus tissue. In conclusion, these scaffolds have demonstrated their potential to promote a living repair of defects in the annulus fibrosus and thus may be used to prevent recurrent IVD herniations.
Keywords: annulus fibrosus; herniation; intervertebral disc; regeneration; scaffold; tissue engineering.
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