Intervertebral disc degeneration, occurring mainly in nucleus pulposus (NP), is a leading cause of low back pain. In seeking to mitigate this condition, investigators in the field of NP tissue engineering have increasingly studied the use of hydrogels. However, these hydrogels should possess appropriate mechanical strength and swelling pressure, and concurrently support the proliferation of chondrocyte-like cells. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a composite hydrogel for NP tissue engineering, made of chitosan-poly(hydroxybutyrate- co-valerate) (CP) with chondroitin sulfate (CS) nanoparticles, without using a cross linker. The water uptake ability, as well as the viscoelastic properties of this composite hydrogel, was similar to native tissue, as reflected in the complex shear modulus and stress relaxation values. The hydrogel could withstand varying stress corresponding to daily activities like lying down (0.01. MPa), sitting (0.5. MPa) and standing (1.0. MPa) under dynamic conditions. The hydrogels were stable in PBS for 2 weeks and its stiffness, elastic and viscous modulus did not alter significantly during this period. Both CP and CP-CS hydrogels could assist the viability and adhesion of adipose derived rat mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs). The viability and chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs was significantly enhanced in presence of CS nanoparticles. Thus, CS nanoparticles-incorporated chitosan-PHBV hydrogels offer great potential for NP tissue engineering. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
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Dr. Manitha B. Nair, Baranwal, G., Vijayan, P., Keyan, K. S., and Dr. Jayakumar Rangasamy, “Composite hydrogel of chitosan-poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate) with chondroitin sulfate nanoparticles for nucleus pulposus tissue engineering”, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, vol. 136, pp. 84-92, 2015.