Self-assembling peptide hydrogel fosters chondrocyte extracellular matrix production and cell division: Implications for cartilage tissue repair Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Chondrocytes
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Hydrogel
  • Oligopeptides


  • Emerging medical technologies for effective and lasting repair of articular cartilage include delivery of cells or cell-seeded scaffolds to a defect site to initiate de novo tissue regeneration. Biocompatible scaffolds assist in providing a template for cell distribution and extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation in a three-dimensional geometry. A major challenge in choosing an appropriate scaffold for cartilage repair is the identification of a material that can simultaneously stimulate high rates of cell division and high rates of cell synthesis of phenotypically specific ECM macromolecules until repair evolves into steady-state tissue maintenance. We have devised a self-assembling peptide hydrogel scaffold for cartilage repair and developed a method to encapsulate chondrocytes within the peptide hydrogel. During 4 weeks of culture in vitro, chondrocytes seeded within the peptide hydrogel retained their morphology and developed a cartilage-like ECM rich in proteoglycans and type II collagen, indicative of a stable chondrocyte phenotype. Time-dependent accumulation of this ECM was paralleled by increases in material stiffness, indicative of deposition of mechanically functional neo-tissue. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of a self-assembling peptide hydrogel as a scaffold for the synthesis and accumulation of a true cartilage-like ECM within a three-dimensional cell culture for cartilage tissue repair.

publication date

  • July 23, 2002



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC126613

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.142309999

PubMed ID

  • 12119393

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 9996

end page

  • 10001


  • 99


  • 15