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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5839071, 12 pages
Research Article

Fabrication and In Vitro Study of Tissue-Engineered Cartilage Scaffold Derived from Wharton’s Jelly Extracellular Matrix

1Institute of Orthopaedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing Key Lab of Regenerative Medicine in Orthopaedics, Key Laboratory of Musculoskeletal Trauma & War Injuries, PLA, No. 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100853, China
2First Department of Orthopaedics, First Affiliated Hospital of Jiamusi University, No. 348 Dexiang Road, Xiangyang District, Jiamusi 154003, China
3Institute of Anesthesiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, No. 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100853, China
4Center for Biomaterial and Tissue Engineering, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, No. 5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jianhua Yang, Shuyun Liu, and Quanyi Guo

Received 15 February 2017; Revised 19 June 2017; Accepted 3 August 2017; Published 29 October 2017

Academic Editor: Adriana Bigi

Copyright © 2017 Tongguang Xiao 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.


The scaffold is a key element in cartilage tissue engineering. The components of Wharton’s jelly are similar to those of articular cartilage and it also contains some chondrogenic growth factors, such as insulin-like growth factor I and transforming growth factor-β. We fabricated a tissue-engineered cartilage scaffold derived from Wharton’s jelly extracellular matrix (WJECM) and compared it with a scaffold derived from articular cartilage ECM (ACECM) using freeze-drying. The results demonstrated that both WJECM and ACECM scaffolds possessed favorable pore sizes and porosities; moreover, they showed good water uptake ratios and compressive moduli. Histological staining confirmed that the WJECM and ACECM scaffolds contained similar ECM. Moreover, both scaffolds showed good cellular adherence, bioactivity, and biocompatibility. MTT and DNA content assessments confirmed that the ACECM scaffold tended to be more beneficial for improving cell proliferation than the WJECM scaffold. However, RT-qPCR results demonstrated that the WJECM scaffold was more favorable to enhance cellular chondrogenesis than the ACECM scaffold, showing more collagen II and aggrecan mRNA expression. These results were confirmed indirectly by glycosaminoglycan and collagen content assessments and partially confirmed by histology and immunofluorescent staining. In conclusion, these results suggest that a WJECM scaffold may be favorable for future cartilage tissue engineering.