Injectable tissue-engineered cartilage with different chondrocyte sources

Jian Wei Xu, Victor Zaporojan, Giuseppe M. Peretti, Robert E. Roses, Kenneth B. Morse, Amit K. Roy, John M. Mesa, Mark A. Randolph, Lawrence J. Bonassar, Michael J. Yaremchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Injectable engineered cartilage that maintains a predictable shape and volume would allow recontouring of craniomaxillofacial irregularities with minimally invasive techniques. This study investigated how chondrocytes from different cartilage sources, encapsulated in fibrin polymer, affected construct mass and volume with time. Swine auricular, costal, and articular chondrocytes were isolated and mixed with fibrin polymer (cell concentration of 40 × 106 cells/ml for all groups). Eight samples (1 cm × 1 cm × 0.3 cm) per group were implanted into nude mice for each time period (4, 8, and 12 weeks). The dimensions and mass of each specimen were recorded before implantation and after explantation. Ratios comparing final measurements and original measurements were calculated. Histological, biochemical, and biomechanical analyses were performed. Histological evaluations (n = 3) indicated that new cartilaginous matrix was synthesized by the transplanted chondrocytes in all experimental groups. At 12 weeks, the ratios of dimension and mass (n = 8) for auricular chondrocyte constructs increased by 20 to 30 percent, the ratios for costal chondrocyte constructs were equal to the initial values, and the ratios for articular chondrocyte constructs decreased by 40 to 50 percent. Constructs made with auricular chondrocytes had the highest modulus (n = 3 to 5) and glycosaminoglycan content (n = 4 or 5) and the lowest permeability value (n = 3 to 5) and water content (n = 4 or 5). Constructs made with articular chondrocytes had the lowest modulus and glycosaminoglycan content and the highest permeability value and water content (p <0.05). The amounts of hydroxyproline (n = 5) and DNA (n = 5) were not significantly different among the experimental groups (p > 0.05). It was possible to engineer injectable cartilage with chondrocytes from different sources, resulting in neocartilage with different properties. Although cartilage made with articular chondrocytes shrank and cartilage made with auricular chondrocytes overgrew, the injectable tissue-engineered cartilage made with costal chondrocytes was stable during the time periods studied. Furthermore, the biomechanical properties of the engineered cartilage made with auricular or costal chondrocytes were superior to those of cartilage made with articular chondrocytes, in this model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1371
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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