Arthroscopy The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery

Arthroscopy The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery

Abstract

Introduction: Knee meniscus injury is highly prevalent and there is a demand for new cost-effective treatment solutions. Tissue engineering (TE) and regenerative medicine strategies using acellar scaffolds are being used inclinical application for total or partial meniscus replacement [1]. Although this strategy has been considered as a safeand promising approach, progressive volume reduction of the implant and early failure have been described.
Advances in the field of meniscus TE are required and greatly depend on increased knowledge of meniscus biology,improvement of biomaterials and cell-based therapies [2]. Advanced scaffolds for meniscus TE should possess
adequate mechanics, biodegradability and biocompatibility, and also be able to mimic and preserve the asymmetric vascular network of this complex tissue, i.e. enable controlling the segmental vascularization during the regeneration process.
Silk fibroin scaffolds derived from Bombyx mori cocoon have been recognized as a versatile biomaterial for application in meniscus TE [3]. The purpose of this study is to: 1) contribute to the knowledge of meniscus aiming future clinical applications (namely, the aspects dealing with the characterization of cellular phenotypes and density,biomechanics and extracellular matrix composition) and 2) to develop an alternative and viable silk fibroin scaffold possessing adequate properties for either use in acellular or cellular approaches for partial and/or total meniscus replacement, and combine it with the methacrylated gellan gum hydrogel (iGG-MA) hydrogel, which is able to prevent the ingrowth of endothelial cells and blood vessels into the hydrogels [4,5].