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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 762189, 12 pages
Research Article

Tailored PVA/ECM Scaffolds for Cartilage Regeneration

1Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padua, Via Marzolo 5, 35131 Padua, Italy
2Foundation for Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Tissue Engineering and Signaling (TES) ONLUS, Via De Sanctis 10, Caselle di Selvazzano Dentro, 35030 Padua, Italy
3Operative Unit of Plastic Surgery, Sant’Anna Hospital, Via Ravona 20, 22020 Como, Italy
4Department of Biology, University of Padua, Viale Colombo 3, 35121 Padua, Italy

Received 28 March 2014; Revised 8 July 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Luca Urbani

Copyright © 2014 Elena Stocco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Articular cartilage lesions are a particular challenge for regenerative medicine due to cartilage low self-ability repair in case of damage. Hence, a significant goal of musculoskeletal tissue engineering is the development of suitable structures in virtue of their matrix composition and biomechanical properties. The objective of our study was to design in vitro a supporting structure for autologous chondrocyte growth. We realized a biohybrid composite scaffold combining a novel and nonspecific extracellular matrix (ECM), which is decellularized Wharton’s jelly ECM, with the biomechanical properties of the synthetic hydrogel polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Wharton’s jelly ECM was tested for its ability in promoting scaffold colonization by chondrocytes and compared with polyvinyl alcohol itself and the more specific decellularized cartilage matrix. Our preliminary evidences highlighted the chance of using Wharton’s jelly ECM in combination with PVA hydrogels as an innovative and easily available scaffold for cartilage restoration.