Generation and characterization of osteochondral grafts with human nasal chondrocytes

Marina Barandun, Lukas Daniel Iselin, Francesco Santini, Michele Pansini, Celeste Scotti, Daniel Baumhoer, Oliver Bieri, Ueli Studler, Dieter Wirz, Martin Haug, Marcel Jakob, Dirk Johannes Schaefer, Ivan Martin, Andrea Barbero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated whether nasal chondrocytes (NC) can be used to generate composite constructs with properties necessary for the repair of osteochondral (OC) lesions, namely maturation, integration and capacity to recover from inflammatory burst. OC grafts were fabricated by combining engineered cartilage tissues (generated by culturing NC or articular chondrocytes - AC - onto Chondro-Gide® matrices) with devitalized spongiosa cylinders (Tutobone®). OC tissues were then exposed to IL-1β for three days and cultured for additional 2 weeks in the absence of IL-1β. Cartilage maturation extent was assessed (immune) histologically, biochemically and by delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) while cartilage/bone integration was assessed using a peel-off mechanical test. The use of NC as compared to AC allowed for more efficient cartilage matrix accumulation and superior integration of the cartilage/bone layers. dGEMRIC and biochemical analyzes of the OC constructs showed a reduced glycosaminoglycan (GAG) contents upon IL-1β administration. Cartilaginous matrix contents and integration forces returned to baseline up on withdrawal of IL-1β. By having a cartilage layer well developed and strongly integrated to the subchondral layer, OC tissues generated with NC may successfully engraft in an inflammatory post-surgery joint environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1119
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • chondrocytes
  • chondrogenic differentiation
  • osteochondral lesion
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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