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Biomimetic hydrogels designed for cartilage tissue engineering

Lookup NU author(s): Kresanti Ngadimin, Alex Stokes, Dr Piergiorgio GentileORCiD, Dr Ana Ferreira-DuarteORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Cartilage regeneration and repair remains a clinical challenge due to the limited capability of cartilage to self-regenerate. Worldwide, the costs associated with cartilage regeneration per patient are estimated on average £30,000 for producing and supplying cells. Regenerative approaches may include the use of cellular therapies and tissue engineering by combining relevant cells, scaffolds and instructive biomolecules to stimulate or modulate cartilage repair. Hydrogels have been of great interest within these fields to be used as 3D substrates to cultivate and grow cartilage cells. Currently, biomimetic hydrogels with adequate biological and physicochemical properties, such as mechanical properties, capable to support load-bearing capability have yet succeeded. In this review, biomaterials advantages and disadvantages for the manufacturing of biomimetic hydrogels for cartilage regeneration are presented. Different studies on the formulation of cartilage-like hydrogels based on materials such as gelatin, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, are summarised and contrasted in terms of their mechanical properties (e.g. elastic modulus) and ability to enhance cell function such as cell viability and GAGs content. Current limitations and challenges of biomimetic hydrogels for cartilage regeneration are also presented.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ngadimin K, Stokes A, Gentile P, Ferreira AM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biomaterials Science

Year: 2021

Volume: 9

Issue: 12

Pages: 4246-4259

Print publication date: 21/06/2021

Online publication date: 12/02/2021

Acceptance date: 12/02/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2047-4849


DOI: 10.1039/D0BM01852J