Silk fibroin (SF) as a naturally occurring degradable fibrous protein with unique mechanical properties, excellent biocompatibility and processability has demonstrated strong potential for skeletal tissue engineering. Recent studies has mostly focused on nanofibrous SF (NSF) as a novel chondrogenic scaffold since its structure is very similar to collagen fibrous structure of natural extracellular matrix (ECM). However, less attention has been paid to the surface modification of NSF scaffolds by microwave-induced argon plasma. The present study was based on the hypothesis that plasma treatment to 3-D porous electrospun NSF scaffolds would improve cell growth, chondrogenicity and new cartilage-specific ECM formation of chondrocytes. It was found that plasma treatment could induce an essential modification of the surface of electrospun NSF scaffolds. The attachment and proliferation of human articular chondrocytes onto the surface-modified NSF scaffolds were significantly increased with a concomitant increase in the glycosaminoglycan synthesis. These results suggest that porous NSF scaffolds treated with microwave-induced plasma may be effective for enhancing the cellular behaviors and chondrogenic differentiation of chondrocytes and further be potentially used to cartilage tissue engineering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry