- A new type of composite 3D biomaterial that provides extracellular cues that govern the differentiation processes of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been developed. In the present study, we evaluated the chondrogenecity of a biohybrid composed of a calcium carbonate scaffold in its calcite polymorph and hyaluronic acid (HA). The source of the calcite scaffolding is an exoskeleton of a sea barnacle Tetraclita rifotincta (T. rifotincta), Pilsbry (1916). The combination of a calcium carbonate-based bioactive scaffold with a natural polymeric hydrogel is designed to mimic the organic-mineral composite of developing bone by providing a fine-tuned microenvironment. The results indicate that the calcite-HA interface creates a suitable microenvironment for the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs, and therefore, the biohybrid may provide a tool for tissue-engineered cartilage.