Treatment of Cartilage Injury in Rat’s Knee Joint by Implantation of A 3-D Silk Fibroin Scaffold with Chondrocytes


Niwat Taepavarapruk, Waree Tiyabooncha, Pratthana Chomchalao and Pornnarin Taepavarapruk


This study investigated the functional and histological properties of an implantation of silk fibroin/gelatin (SF/G) scaffold enriched with chondrocytes into a rat’s knee joint.  The animals were divided into 3 groups as 1) a sham group which received an incision on the joint capsule, 2) a blank SF/G group which had a burr hole on the cartilage and transplanted with a blank scaffold, and 3) SF/G+C group which had a burr hole on the cartilage and transplanted with chondrocyte-rich fibroin scaffold.  At the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week after surgery, each animal was subjected to locomotor activity tests by running on a treadmill for 5 min and followed by climbing on a rotating rod for 5 min, respectively.  The results of treadmill test showed that some animals in each group could not walk or run as long duration as 5 min period in the 1st week.  However, all of them could run normally on the treadmill in the 2nd week.  For the rotarod test, most of the animals in SF/G+C group could not stay on a rotarod for the whole period of 5 min at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week after surgery.  In contrast, the results of sham and blank SF/G groups showed significantly longer duration of balancing on the rotarod.  Nevertheless, when compared the percent change of durations from the 1st week to the 4th week we found that the SF/G+C group had a greater improvement than the sham and blank SF/G groups.  After 1-month locomotor testing, the animals were euthanized and their right knees were kept in 10% formalin for at least 3 weeks, then decalcified in 10% nitric acid before slicing for the histological study.  By using H & E staining method, there was a thin layer of new regrowth tissue formed in the damaged bone of blank SF/G group.  In the SF/G+C group, however, there were a thicker layer of new regrowth tissue and a piece of scaffold with chondrocytes attached to the damage bone.  Altogether, these findings indicate that our silk fibroin/gelatin scaffolds have a high potential for further development to be the biocompatible biomaterial used for the treatment of injury or arthritic conditions of the articular surface.


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bone regeneration; silk fibroin/gelatin scaffold; physical activity test
Research Articles


How to Cite
PRATTHANA CHOMCHALAO AND PORNNARIN TAEPAVARAPRUK, Niwat Taepavarapruk, Waree Tiyabooncha,. Treatment of Cartilage Injury in Rat’s Knee Joint by Implantation of A 3-D Silk Fibroin Scaffold with Chondrocytes. Naresuan University Journal: Science and Technology (NUJST), [S.l.], v. 25, n. 3, p. 12-21, july 2017. ISSN 2539-553X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 apr. 2019.