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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Translating the application of transforming growth factor-β1, chondroitinase-ABC, and lysyl oxidase-like 2 for mechanically robust tissue-engineered human neocartilage.

  • Author(s): Kwon, Heenam
  • O'Leary, Siobhan A
  • Hu, Jerry C
  • Athanasiou, Kyriacos A
  • et al.

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Strategies to overcome the limited availability of human articular chondrocytes and their tendency to dedifferentiate during expansion are required to advance their clinical use and to engineer functional cartilage on par with native articular cartilage. This work sought to determine whether a biochemical factor (transforming growth factor-β1 [T]), a biophysical agent (chondroitinase-ABC [C]), and a collagen crosslinking enzyme (lysyl oxidase-like 2 [L]) are efficacious in forming three-dimensional human neocartilage from expanded human articular chondrocytes. Among the treatment regimens, the combination of the three stimuli (TCL treatment) led to the most robust glycosaminoglycan content, total collagen content, and type II collagen production. In particular, TCL treatment synergistically increased tensile stiffness and strength of human neocartilage by 3.5-fold and 3-fold, respectively, over controls. Applied to two additional donors, the beneficial effects of TCL treatment appear to be donor independent; tensile stiffness and strength were increased by up to 8.5-fold and 3-fold, respectively, over controls. The maturation of human neocartilage in response to TCL treatment was examined following 5 and 8 weeks of culture, demonstrating maintenance or further enhancement of functional properties. The present study identifies a novel strategy for engineering human articular cartilage using serially passaged chondrocytes.

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