Evaluation of Three-Dimensional Chitosan-Agarose-Gelatin Cryogel Scaffold for the Repair of Subchondral Cartilage Defects: An In Vivo Study in a Rabbit Model

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In this study, the potential of a chitosan-agarose-gelatin (CAG) cryogel scaffold for the repair of subchondral cartilage defects was explored in female New Zealand white rabbits. Custom-made CAG cryogel scaffold was implanted in a surgically created subchondral defect (diameter of 4 mm, depth of 4 mm) in knee joint of rabbit. The repair of the subchondral defect was evaluated at regular time interval by both macroscopic as well as microscopic examinations. The gross evaluation of the scaffold-implanted site showed integration of the scaffold with the surrounding tissue. Scanning electron microscopy and histological staining of the remnants of implanted cryogel scaffold showed infiltration of the host cells. The repair of the subchondral defect along with well-integrated regenerated cartilage was confirmed by the histology analysis of the joint. Results showed significant cartilage regeneration by the fourth week until eighth week after implantation. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that regenerated tissue is hyaline cartilage and absence of hypertrophy marker was reported. In addition, the CAG scaffolds did not elicit any adverse immunological rejection as shown by hematological analysis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay did not show any statistically significant change in the concentration of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the serum, and remained in a nontoxic range. Rabbits with a surgically created defect but no scaffold did not show any cartilage regeneration throughout the experiment of 8 weeks. These results demonstrate that CAG cryogel scaffolds promote repair of an osteochondral defect at a load-bearing site in rabbits.


  • Ankur Gupta
  • Sumrita Bhat
  • Pankaj R. Jagdale
  • Bhushan P. Chaudhari
  • Lars Lidgren
  • Kailash C. Gupta
  • Ashok Kumar
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3101-3111
JournalTissue Engineering. Part A
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch