Engineering of optimized hydrogel formulations for cartilage repair

Yao Fu, Bram Zoetebier*, Sanne Both, Pieter J. Dijkstra, Marcel Karperien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


The ideal scaffold for cartilage regeneration is expected to provide adequate mechanical strength, controlled degradability, adhesion, and integration with the surrounding native tissue. As it does this, it mimics natural ECMs functions, which allow for nutrient diffusion and promote cell survival and differentiation. Injectable hydrogels based on tyramine (TA)-functionalized hyaluronic acid (HA) and dextran (Dex) are a promising approach for cartilage regeneration. The properties of the hydrogels used in this study were adjusted by varying polymer concentrations and ratios. To investigate the changes in properties and their effects on cellular behavior and cartilage matrix formation, different ratios of HA-and dextran-based hybrid hydrogels at both 5 and 10% w/v were prepared using a designed mold to control generation. The results indicated that the incorporation of chondrocytes in the hydrogels decreased their mechanical properties. However, rheological and compression analysis indicated that 5% w/v hydrogels laden with cells exhibit a significant increase in mechanical properties after 21 days when the constructs are cultured in a chondrogenic differentiation medium. Moreover, compared to the 10% w/v hydrogels, the 5% w/v hybrid hydrogels increased the deposition of the cartilage matrix, especially in constructs with a higher Dex–TA content. These results indicated that 5% w/v hybrid hydrogels with 25% HA–TA and 75% Dex–TA have a high potential as injectable scaffolds for cartilage tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1526
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021


  • Cartilage regeneration
  • Hydrogel scaffolds
  • Matrix formation
  • Mechanical properties
  • Stem cells


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