One goal of functional tissue engineering is to manufacture scaffolds infiltrated with chondrocytes which are suitable for transplantation into the lesion areas of articular cartilage. Various research strategies are used to fabricate cartilage transplants which would have the correct phenotype, contain enough extracellular matrix components, and have structural and biomechanical properties equivalent to normal articular cartilage. We have investigated the suitability of viscose cellulose sponges as a scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering. The sponges were tested alone, or with recombinant human type II collagen cross-linked inside the material. Scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy were used to study the structure of the scaffold during four weeks of cultivation. Cellulose and cellulose/recombinant type II collagen sponges were biocompatible for at least four weeks in cultivation, and gradual filling of the scaffold was observed. However, the constructs remained soft during the observation period, and were devoid of extracellular matrix composition typical for normal articular cartilage.