The effect of ultrasound stimulation on the gene and protein expression of chondrocytes seeded in chitosan scaffolds

Gulnara I. Hasanova, Sandra E. Noriega, Tarlan G. Mamedov, Sanjukta Guha Thakurta, Joseph A. Turner, Anuradha Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Both pulsed- and square-wave, low-intensity ultrasound (US) signals have been reported to impact chondrocyte function and biosynthetic activity. In this study, a low-intensity diffuse ultrasound (LIDUS) signal at 5.0 MHz (0.14 mW/cm2) was employed to stimulate bovine chondrocytes seeded in three-dimensional (3D) chitosan-based matrices. While the duration of application was constant at 51 s, US was applied once, twice, four times and eight times/day, and the impacts of US on the biosynthetic activity of chondrocytes and the expression of chondrocyte-specific genes were evaluated. When stimulated with continuous US for predetermined time intervals, chondrocytes had higher levels of type II collagen, aggrecan, L-Sox5 and Sox9 mRNA expression when compared to controls; however, under the same conditions, the expression of MMP-3 was downregulated. Interestingly, both Sox5 and Sox9 genes coordinately responded to changes in US stimulation and generally mirrored the response of collagen type II transcript to changes in US stimulation. RT-PCR analysis revealed that US stimulation increased the gene expression of cell-surface integrins α5 and β1. The expression of integrins α2 was downregulated by US treatment, suggesting that multiple integrin subunits may be involved in the regulation of chondrocytic function in response to US stimuli. The enhancement in the abundance of the mRNA transcripts upon US stimulation was observed to correlate with the protein expression of collagen type I, collagen type II, and integrins α5 and β1. In conclusion, the US stimulation regimen employed was shown to modulate the proliferative capacity, biosynthetic activity and integrin mRNA expression of articular chondrocytes maintained in 3D matrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Chitosan scaffolds
  • Chondrocytes
  • Gene expression
  • Ultrasound stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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