Investigation of different cross-linking approaches on 3D gelatin scaffolds for tissue engineering application: A comparative analysis

K. Gopal Shankar, Natalia Gostynska, Monica Montesi, Silvia Panseri, Simone Sprio, Elizaveta Kon, Maurilio Marcacci, Anna Tampieri, Monica Sandri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The present study aims to investigate the physical-chemical and biological features exhibited by porous scaffolds for regeneration of cartilaginous tissues obtained through stabilization of 3D gelatin hydrogels by physical (DHT), chemical (BDDGE) and natural (Genipin) cross-linking approaches. The study aimed at comparatively assessing the porous microstructure and the long-term resistance of the scaffolds upon degradation in wet physiological conditions (37 °C, pH = 7.4). The degree of cross-linking increases as function of incorporation of cross-linkers which was maximum up to 73% for BDDGE. The infrared spectroscopy and thermal analysis confirmed the gelatin structure was preserved during the cross-linking treatments. Mechanical properties of the scaffolds were analysed by static and dynamic compression test, which showed different viscoelastic behaviour upon various cross-linking strategies. The biological performance of the scaffolds investigated using human chondrocytes showed good cell adhesion, viability and proliferation, as well as extensive 3D scaffold colonization. Besides, the analysis of gene expression related to the formation of new chondral tissue reported increasing ability with time in the formation of new extra-cellular matrix. In conclusion, out of three different cross-linking methods, the gelatin scaffolds subjected to dehydrothermal treatment (DHT) represented to be the most favourable 3D scaffold for cartilage regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1199-1209
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Cartilage
  • Dehydrothermal
  • Gelatin
  • Genipin
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)


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