eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2009   Volume No 18 – pages 27-39

Title: Cell-seeded polyurethane-fibrin structures – A possible system for intervertebral disc regeneration

Author: C Mauth, E Bono, S Haas, G Paesold, H Wiese, G Maier, N Boos, U Graf-Hausner

Address: School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Institute of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Campus Reidbach, Einsiedlerstrasse 31, CH-8820 Waedenswil/Zurich, Switzerland

E-mail: ursula.graf at

Key Words: Intervertebral disc, polyurethane, fibrin, scaffold, nucleus pulposus, cell encapsulation.

Publication date: October 2nd 2009

Abstract: Nowadays, intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is one of the principal causes of low back pain involving high expense within the health care system. The long-term goal is the development of a medical treatment modality focused on a more biological regeneration of the inner nucleus pulposus (NP). Hence, interest in the endoscopic implantation of an injectable material took center stage in the recent past. We report on the development of a novel polyurethane (PU) scaffold as a mechanically stable carrier system for the reimplantation of expanded autologous IVD-derived cells (disc cells) to stimulate regenerative processes and restore the chondrocyte-like tissue within the NP. Primary human disc cells were seeded into newly developed PU spheroids which were subsequently encapsulated in fibrin hydrogel. The study aims to analyze adhesion properties, proliferation capacity and phenotypic characterization of these cells. Polymerase chain reaction was carried out to detect the expression of genes specifically expressed by native IVD cells. Biochemical analyses showed an increased DNA content, and a progressive enhancement of total collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAG) was observed during cell culture. The results suggest the synthesis of an appropriate extracellular matrix as well as a stable mRNA expression of chondrogenic and/or NP specific markers. In conclusion, the data presented indicate an alternative medical approach to current treatment options of degenerated IVD tissue.

Article download: Pages 27-39 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v018a03