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AUTHOR De Moor, Lise and Minne, Mendy and Tytgat, Liesbeth and Vercruysse, Chris and Dubruel, Peter and Van Vlierberghe, Sandra and Declercq, Heidi
Title Tuning the Phenotype of Cartilage Tissue Mimics by Varying Spheroid Maturation and Methacrylamide-Modified Gelatin Hydrogel Characteristics [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Macromolecular Bioscience
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Abstract
Abstract In hybrid bioprinting of cartilage tissue constructs, spheroids are used as cellular building blocks and combined with biomaterials for dispensing. However, biomaterial intrinsic cues can deeply affect cell fate and to date, the influence of hydrogel encapsulation on spheroid viability and phenotype has received limited attention. This study assesses this need and unravels 1) how the phenotype of spheroid-laden constructs can be tuned through adjusting the hydrogel physico–chemical properties and 2) if the spheroid maturation stage prior to encapsulation is a determining factor for the construct phenotype. Articular chondrocyte spheroids with a cartilage specific extracellular matrix (ECM) are generated and different maturation stages, early-, mid-, and late-stage (3, 7, and 14 days, respectively), are harvested and encapsulated in 10, 15, or 20 w/v% methacrylamide-modified gelatin (gelMA) for 14 days. The encapsulation of immature spheroids do not lead to a cartilage-like ECM production but when more mature mid- or late-stage spheroids are combined with a certain concentration of gelMA, a fibrocartilage-like as well as a hyaline cartilage-like phenotype can be induced. As a proof of concept, late-stage spheroids are bioprinted using a 10 w/v% gelMA–Irgacure 2959 solution with the aim to test the processing potential of the spheroid-laden bioink.
AUTHOR De Moor, Lise and Fernandez, Sélina and Vercruysse, Chris and Tytgat, Liesbeth and Asadian, Mahtab and De Geyter, Nathalie and Van Vlierberghe, Sandra and Dubruel, Peter and Declercq, Heidi
Title Hybrid Bioprinting of Chondrogenically Induced Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Spheroids [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
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DOI/URL DOI
Abstract
To date, the treatment of articular cartilage lesions remains challenging. A promising strategy for the development of new regenerative therapies is hybrid bioprinting, combining the principles of developmental biology, biomaterial science, and 3D bioprinting. In this approach, scaffold-free cartilage microtissues with small diameters are used as building blocks, combined with a photo-crosslinkable hydrogel and subsequently bioprinted. Spheroids of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSC) are created using a high-throughput microwell system and chondrogenic differentiation is induced during 42 days by applying chondrogenic culture medium and low oxygen tension (5%). Stable and homogeneous cartilage spheroids with a mean diameter of 116 ± 2.80 μm, which is compatible with bioprinting, were created after 14 days of culture and a glycosaminoglycans (GAG)- and collagen II-positive extracellular matrix (ECM) was observed. Spheroids were able to assemble at random into a macrotissue, driven by developmental biology tissue fusion processes, and after 72 h of culture, a compact macrotissue was formed. In a directed assembly approach, spheroids were assembled with high spatial control using the bio-ink based extrusion bioprinting approach. Therefore, 14-day spheroids were combined with a photo-crosslinkable methacrylamide-modified gelatin (gelMA) as viscous printing medium to ensure shape fidelity of the printed construct. The photo-initiators Irgacure 2959 and Li-TPO-L were evaluated by assessing their effect on bio-ink properties and the chondrogenic phenotype. The encapsulation in gelMA resulted in further chondrogenic maturation observed by an increased production of GAG and a reduction of collagen I. Moreover, the use of Li-TPO-L lead to constructs with lower stiffness which induced a decrease of collagen I and an increase in GAG and collagen II production. After 3D bioprinting, spheroids remained viable and the cartilage phenotype was maintained. Our findings demonstrate that hBM-MSC spheroids are able to differentiate into cartilage microtissues and display a geometry compatible with 3D bioprinting. Furthermore, for hybrid bioprinting of these spheroids, gelMA is a promising material as it exhibits favorable properties in terms of printability and it supports the viability and chondrogenic phenotype of hBM-MSC microtissues. Moreover, it was shown that a lower hydrogel stiffness enhances further chondrogenic maturation after bioprinting.