Evaluation of thermoreversible polymers containing fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF-9) for chondrocyte culture

Angela Au, Anna Polotsky, Karol Krzyminski, Anna Gutowska, David S. Hungerford, Carmelita G. Frondoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We previously evaluated a thermoreversible polymer gel composed of N-isopropylacrylamide and acrylic acid as a cell culture substrate and cell-delivery vehicle. The copolymer promoted phenotype expression and amplification of chondrocytes. In this study, we determined whether addition of fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF-9), which is mitogenic for chondrocytes, would further enhance cell proliferation and phenotype expression in the polymer. We tested the hypothesis that the thermoreversible polymer containing FGF-9 would promote increased chondrocyte proliferation and phenotype expression. Articular chondrocytes (1 × 105/150 μL) were plated onto control (without gel) and gel containing 24-well plates. The gels were prepared in media alone or in media containing heparin (100 μg/mL) and FGF-9 (5 μg/mL). The cultures were incubated at 37°C in 5% CO2 for 3 days. Cells remained viable in the thermoreversible polymer in the presence or absence of FGF-9. Addition of FGF-9 to the copolymer did not induce proliferation and the cell numbers did not increase. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-determined expression of chondrocyte markers collagen type II and aggrecan. FGF-9 did not enhance chondrocyte proliferation nor alter the phenotype after 3 days in culture. These findings suggest the poly(NiPA-co-AAc) gel alone may provide the optimal 3D environment for propagation of chondrocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2004


  • Chondrocytes
  • Growth factors
  • Scaffold
  • Thermoreversible polymer
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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