A Biomimetic Nano-Engineered Platform for Functional Tissue Engineering of Cartilage Superficial Zone

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Article number2001018
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number4
Online published16 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021


Articular cartilage has limited regeneration capacity because of its acellular and avascular nature. Although tissue engineering has been shown to be life-saving, reforming cartilage zones required by the appropriate tissue functions are challenging. Herein, the need is addressed by designing and producing a nano-engineered structure mimicking the superficial zone (SZ) of articular cartilage. The substrate is based on silk with good mechanical properties in conjunction with nano-topographical and biochemical cues. Nanopillar arrays are produced on the silk surface to regulate the stem cell morphology rendering them with a flattened ellipsoidal shape that is similar to that of chondrocytes in the SZ of natural cartilage. The cell interactions are enhanced by nitrogen ion implantation and the biomolecule, kartogenin (KGN), is loaded to promote chondrogenesis of the stem cells and furthermore, a thermosensitive chitosan hydrogel is formed on the nanopatterned silk to produce rheological properties similar to those of a synovial fluid. Based on the in vitro results and mechanical properties, it is a desirable implantable smart structure mimicking the cartilage SZ with the ability of continuous drug release for cartilage regeneration.

Research Area(s)

  • articular cartilage superficial zones, chitosan hydrogels, drug delivery, nanopillars, silk