Mechanical stimulation of fibroblasts in micro-channeled bacterial cellulose scaffolds enhances production of oriented collagen fibers
Journal article, 2012
Cellulose perforated by micro-channels (phi? similar to 500 mu m) has been investigated as a potential future scaffold material for meniscus implants. Scaffolds seeded with 3T6 fibroblasts were cultivated with mechanical stimulation in a compression bioreactor for enhanced collagen production. Constructs under dynamic compression at a frequency of 0.1 Hz and compression strain of 5% were compared to static cultures used as controls. The three-dimensional distributions of collagen fibers and fibroblasts in the cellulose scaffolds were studied under native, soft-matter conditions by combined second harmonic generation and coherent antiStokes Raman scattering microscopy, requiring no artificial sample preparation. Results showed that the micro-channels facilitated the alignment of cells and collagen fibers and that collagen production was enhanced by mechanical stimulation. Thus, cell-seeded, micro-channeled cellulose scaffolds provided guided tissue growth required to obtain an ultrastructure mimicking that of the meniscus.