The combination of electrospinning and the subsequent gelation of alginate produced bi-compartmental hydrogel consisting of a nanofiber-incorporated hydrogel matrix domain and a bare alginate hydrogel domain. The co-culture system was prepared by placing intervertebral disk (IVD) cells in the bare alginate hydrogel and human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in the nanofiber-incorporated hydrogel. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blotting, immunofluorescence staining, and sulfated glycosaminoglycan assays revealed that the co-cultured groups produced more collagen type II, aggrecan, glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1), and glycosaminoglycans (GAG) than the single-cultured hMSCs, confirming the enhanced differentiation of hMSCs in the co-culture system. It is expected that our bi-compartmental 3D scaffold can be applied to heterotypic co-culture systems for the study of various cell-cell interactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)