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Arkadiusz Orchel 1Katarzyna Jelonek 1Janusz Kasperczyk 1,2Izabella Molin 1Joanna M. Wawszczyk 3Ludmiła Węglarz 3Ireneusz Bielecki 4Zofia Dzierżewicz 1

1. Department of Biopharmacy, Medical University of Silesia, Narcyzów 1, Sosnowiec 41-200, Poland
2. Polish Academy of Sciences, Centre of Polymer Chemistry, M. Sklodowskiej-Curie 34, Zabrze 41-819, Poland
3. Medical University of Silesia, Department of Biochemistry, Narcyzow 1, Sosnowiec 41-200, Poland
4. Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Silesia, Medyków 16, Katowice 40-752, Poland


Biodegradable polymers such as polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid are commonly utilized to produce surgical fibers and devices for bone fracture internal fixation. They have also been considered to be useful for tissue engineering and as the carriers for controlled release of drugs [1]. These materials must be biocompatible to be well tolerated by the body as well as must support cell adhesion, growth and differentiation. However, traditional methods of their synthesis employ highly toxic tin compounds as initiators of polymerization. Complete elimination of these compounds from the polymers is practically impossible which results in their slow penetration into patients blood circulation system [2]. Moreover, the implant composed of polymeric material may often induce severe inflammatory reaction [3]. The aim of our study was to examine the growth of human chondrocytes on a set of novel biodegradable materials from copolymers of L-lactide, glycolide, ε-caprolactone and trimethylene carbonate. Their synthesis was carried out with the use of nontoxic zirconium acetylacetonate as an initiator of polymerization. The cells were isolated from costal cartilage from a rib of three years old patient subjected to the plastic operation of the chest. They were plated into 96-well plates coated with the uniform thin polymer films and cultured for 4 days. Cell number was measured with a DNA binding fluorescent dye, CyQuant GR (Molecular Probes). Chondrocyte proliferation on 85:15 poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG, Mn 75 600) and 70:30 poly(L-lactide-co-trimethylene carbonate) (PLT, Mn 36 000) did not differ significantly from the control. Microscopic observation of cultures revealed that these substrata considerably supported adhesion and spreading of the cells. However, plating efficiency on 85:15 PLG and 70:30 PLT, measured 3 hours after cell seeding, revealed that the cells were attaching to these substrata more slowly compared to control. Chondrocytes cultured on 30:70 poly(caprolactone-co-trimethylene carbonayte)(Mn 31 500), 70:30 poly(L-lactide-co-caprolactone)(Mn 60 300), 30:70 poly(L-lactide-co-trimethylene carbonayte)(Mn 17 500) and 90:10 poly(caprolactone-co-glycolide)(Mn63 000) displayed slower proliferation compared to control although the cells efficiently attached and spreaded on these substrata. Generally, our results indicate that all the polymer materials used in this investigation can provide a suitable substrate for chondrocyte growth.


  1. Athanasiou K.A., Niederauer G.G., Agrawal C.M. Biomaterials, 17, 93-102 (1996)
  2. Czajkowska B., Dobrzynski P., Bero M. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A., 74, 591-597 (2005)
  3. Rotter N., Ung F., Roy A.K., Vacanti M., Eavey R.D., Vacanti C.A., Bonassar L.J. Tissue Eng., 11, 192-200 (2005)

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Related papers

Presentation: Poster at V Multidyscyplinarna Konferencja Nauki o Leku, by Arkadiusz Orchel
See On-line Journal of V Multidyscyplinarna Konferencja Nauki o Leku

Submitted: 2006-01-31 09:06
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44