Ultrasound at 5.0 MHz was noted to be chondro-inductive, with improved SOX-9 gene and COL2A1 protein expression in constructs that allowed for cell-to-cell contact. To achieve tissue-engineered cartilage using macroporous scaffolds, it is hypothesized that a combination of ultrasound at 5.0 MHz and transforming growth factor-β3 induces human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation to chondrocytes. Expression of miR-145 was used as a metric to qualitatively assess the efficacy of human mesenchymal stem cell conversion. Our results suggest that in group 1 (no transforming growth factor-β3, no ultrasound), as anticipated, human mesenchymal stem cells were not efficiently differentiated into chondrocytes, judging by the lack of decrease in the level of miR-145 expression. Human mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into chondrocytes in group 2 (transforming growth factor-β3, no ultrasound) and group 3 (transforming growth factor-β3, ultrasound) with group 3 having a 2-fold lower miR-145 when compared to group 2 at day 7, indicating a higher conversion to chondrocytes. Transforming growth factor-β3–induced chondrogenesis with and without ultrasound stimulation for 14 days in the ultrasound-assisted bioreactor was compared and followed by additional culture in the absence of growth factors. The combination of growth factor and ultrasound stimulation (group 3) resulted in enhanced COL2A1, SOX-9, and ACAN protein expression when compared to growth factor alone (group 2). No COL10A1 protein expression was noted. Enhanced cell proliferation and glycosaminoglycan deposition was noted with the combination of growth factor and ultrasound stimulation. These results suggest that ultrasound at 5.0 MHz could be used to induce chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage tissue engineering.
- Low-intensity continuous ultrasound
- Transforming growth factor-β3
- mesenchymal stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering