Carboxymethyl cellulose entrapped in a poly (vinyl) alcohol network: Plant-based scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering

Carboxymethyl Cellulose Entrapped in a Poly(vinyl) Alcohol Network: Plant-Based Scaffolds for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Jirapat Namkaew 1 , Panitporn Laowpanitchakorn 2 , Nuttapong Sawaddee 1 , Sirinee Jirajessada 3 , Sittisak Honsawek 4 and Supansa Yodmuang 5,*
1 Excellence Center for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; namkaew.j@gmail.com (J.N.); nuttapong_tontoey@hotmail.com (N.S.)
2 Biomaterial Engineering for Medical and Health Research Unit, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; antpnp@gmail.com
3 Biology Program, Faculty of Science, Buriram Rajabhat University, Muang, Buriram 31000, Thailand; sirinee.ym@bru.ac.th
4 Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeleton Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; sittisak.h@chula.ac.th
5 Research Affairs, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
* Correspondence: supansa.y@chula.ac.th; Tel.: +66-6-3774-8604

Abstract

Cartilage has a limited inherent healing capacity after injury, due to a lack of direct blood supply and low cell density. Tissue engineering in conjunction with biomaterials holds promise for generating cartilage substitutes that withstand stress in joints. A major challenge of tissue substitution is creating a functional framework to support cartilage tissue formation. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GA), by varying the mole ratios of GA/PVA in the presence of different amounts of plant-derived carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Porous scaffolds were created by the freeze-drying technique. The goal of this study was to investigate how CMC incorporation and crosslinking density might affect scaffold pore formation, swelling behaviors, mechanical properties, and potential use for engineered cartilage. The peak at 1599 cm−1 of the C=O group in ATR–FTIR indicates the incorporation of CMC into the scaffold. The glass transition temperature (Tg) and Young’s modulus were lower in the PVA/CMC scaffold, as compared to the PVA control scaffold. The addition of CMC modulates the pore architecture and increases the swelling ratio of scaffolds. The toxicity of the scaffolds and cell attachment were tested. The results suggest that PVA/CMC scaffolding material can be tailored in terms of its physical and swelling properties to potentially support cartilage formation.

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