Induction of cartilage integration by a chondrocyte/collagen scaffold implant

MB Pabbruwe, E Esfandiari, W Kafienah, JF Tarlton, AP Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


The integration of implanted cartilage is a major challenge for the success of tissue engineering protocols. We hypothesize that in order for effective cartilage integration to take place, matrix-free chondrocytes must be induced to migrate between the two tissue surfaces. A chondrocyte/collagen-scaffold implant system was developed as a method of delivering dividing cells at the interface between two cartilage surfaces. Chondrocytes were isolated from bovine nasal septum and seeded onto both surfaces of a collagen membrane to create the chondrocyte/collagen-scaffold implant. A model of two cartilage discs and the chondrocyte/collagen-scaffold sandwiched in between was used to effect integration in vitro. The resulting tissue was analysed histologically and biomechanically. The cartilage–implant–cartilage sandwich appeared macroscopically as one continuous piece of tissue at the end of 40 day cultures. Histological analysis showed tissue continuum across the cartilage–scaffold interface. The integration was dependent on both cells and scaffold. Fluorescent labeling of implanted chondrocytes demonstrated that these cells invade the surrounding mature tissue and drive a remodelling of the extracellular matrix. Using cell-free scaffolds we also demonstrated that some chondrocytes migrated from the natural cartilage into the collagen scaffold. Quantification of integration levels using a histomorphometric repair index showed that the chondrocyte/collagen-scaffold implant achieved the highest repair index compared to controls, reflected functionally through increased tensile strength. In conclusion, cartilage integration can be achieved using a chondrocyte/collagen-scaffold implant that permits controlled delivery of chondrocytes to both host and graft mature cartilage tissues. This approach has the potential to be used therapeutically for implantation of engineered tissue.
Translated title of the contributionInduction of cartilage integration by a chondrocyte-collagen scaffold
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4277 - 4286
Number of pages10
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier
Other: Corresponding Author: Wael Kafienah


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