(a) Poro-viscoelastic hydrogel with RGD decoration on pores. The polymeric network of the scaffold is hybridly crosslinked with physical hydrophobic associations, hydrogen bonds, and covalent crosslinks between chains. Following an applied deformation, flexible network reorganization and fluid-solid interaction within the porous structure occur resembling cartilage dissipative behavior. (b) The hysteresis loop following loading and unloading steps was preserved over different cycles indicating fatigue resitance capability of the hydrogel. The shrinkage of the loop is mainly at the onset and remains stable after preconditioning cycles, owing to reversible sources of dissipation. (c) X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) survey scan of pHEMA porous hydrogels before and after RGD functionalization. The appearance of an N1s peak at 400 eV in the XPS spectra of functionalized samples is the evidence for a successful binding of RGD peptides to the exposed hydroxyl groups of porous pHEMA hydrogel. (d) Mechanical properties of the pure (non-modified) and RGD functionalized hydrogels and reported range of cartilage properties (green arrows) in literature. (e) The measured intra-articular temperature following jogging activity as reported in Becher et al., 2008, and exponential fitted curve to predict the temperature evolution. (f) Modular and custom-designed bioreactor. The apparatus consists of adjustable loading system with embedded screws, chamber cap with different inlets/outlets, culture wells and pistons, wells carrier, chamber base and support. The left schematic illustrates conceptual design of the modular bioreactor for thermo-mechanical stimulation of cell-laden hydrogels.