Interactions between meniscal cells and a self assembled biomimetic surface composed of hyaluronic acid, chitosan and meniscal extracellular matrix molecules

Guak Kim Tan, Donna Lee M Dinnes, Lauren N. Butler, Justin J. Cooper-White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Menisci are one of the most commonly injured parts of the knee with a limited healing potential. This study focuses on fabrication and characterization of biomimetic surfaces for meniscal tissue engineering. To achieve this, a combination of hyaluronic acid/chitosan (HA/CH) mutilayers with covalently immobilized major extracellular matrix (ECM) components of native meniscus, namely collagen I/II (COL.I/II) and chondroitin-6-sulfate (C6S) was employed. Adsorption of the biomolecules was monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and fourier transform-surface plasmon resonance (FT-SPR). Immobilization of the biomolecules onto HA/CH mutilayers was achieved by sequential adsorption, with optimum binding at a molar ratio of 1.4:1 (COL.I/II: C6S). After adding COL.I/II, the layers became relatively more rigid and large aggregates were evident. The effects of the modified surfaces on cell proliferation, gene expression and proteoglycan production of rat meniscal cells were examined. Quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis showed that primary meniscal cells dedifferentiated rapidly after one passage in monolayer culture. This process could be reversed by culturing the cells on C6S surfaces, as indicated by increases in both collagen II and aggrecan gene expression, as well as proteoglycan production. Cells with abundant lipid vacuoles were evident on all the surfaces over an extended culture period. The results demonstrate the feasibility of C6S surfaces to avoid the dedifferentiation that normally occurs during monolayer expansion of meniscal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6104-6118
Number of pages15
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomimetic materials
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Collagen
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Meniscal tissue engineering
  • Surface modification

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