The objective of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical properties of newly formed cartilaginous tissue synthesized from isolated chondrocytes. Cartilage from articular joints of lambs was either digested in collagenase to isolated chondrocytes or cut into discs that were devitalized by multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Isolated cells were incubated in suspension culture in the presence of devitalized cartilage matrix for 3 weeks. Multiple chondrocyte/matrix constructs were assembled with fibrin glue and implanted subcutaneously in nude mice for up to 6 weeks. Testing methods were devised to quantify integration of cartilage pieces and mechanical properties of constructs. These studies showed monotonic increase with time in tensile strength, fracture strain, fracture energy, and tensile modulus to values 5- 10% of normal articular cartilage by 6 weeks in vivo. Histological analysis indicated that chondrocytes grown on dead cartilage matrix produced new matrix that integrated individual cartilage pieces with mechanically functional tissue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology