Intra-scaffold continuous medium flow combines chondrocyte seeding and culture systems for tissue engineered trachea construction

In this study we tested the possibility of seeding chondrocytes into poly (ethylene glycol)-terephthalate-poly (butylene terephthalate) PEOT/PBT scaffold through an intra-scaffold medium flow and the impact of this continuous medium flow on subsequent chondrocyte-scaffold culture. Eight cubic PEOT/PBT co-polymers (1 cm3) were assigned into two groups. In the semi-dynamic seeding group a continuous medium flow was created inside the scaffolds by a pump system. Around six million chondrocytes were harvested each day, suspended in 1 ml medium and delivered onto the scaffold through the perfusion for a sequential five days. Traditional chondrocytes directly seeding and static culture method was performed as control. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histology assessments were performed to evaluate the distribution of chondrocytes inside the scaffolds and MTT test was chosen to check cell vitality. SEM pictures and histology slices from the perfusion group showed a better three-dimensional cell growth and extensive cell distribution inside the scaffolds; while in the control group chondrocytes only dispersedly formed a monolayer on the surface of scaffolds. Accordingly, MTT results from the perfusion group were much higher than those from control group (0.123 vs. 0.067, P<0.01). Continuous medium perfusion inside PEOT/PBT scaffold effectively combines chondrocyte seeding and culture systems for the reconstruction of tissue engineered trachea.