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In vitro growth factor-induced bio engineering of mature articular cartilage
Biomaterials, Volume: 34, Issue: 5, Pages: 1478 - 1487
Swansea University Authors: Ilyas Khan , Lewis Francis , Steve Conlan
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DOI (Published version): 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.09.076
Articular cartilage maturation is the postnatal development process that adapts joint surfaces to their site-specific biomechanical demands. Maturation involves gross morphological changes that occur through a process of synchronised growth and resorption of cartilage and generally ends at sexual ma...
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Articular cartilage maturation is the postnatal development process that adapts joint surfaces to their site-specific biomechanical demands. Maturation involves gross morphological changes that occur through a process of synchronised growth and resorption of cartilage and generally ends at sexual maturity. The inability to induce maturation in biomaterial constructs designed for cartilage repair has been cited as a major cause for their failure in producing persistent cell-based repair of joint lesions. The combination of growth factors FGF2 and TGFβ1 induces accelerated articular cartilage maturation in vitro such that many molecular and morphological characteristics of tissue maturation are observable. We hypothesised that experimental growth factor-induced maturation of immature cartilage would result in a biophysical and biochemical composition consistent with a mature phenotype. Using native immature and mature cartilage as reference, we observed that growth factor-treated immature cartilages displayed increased nano-compressive stiffness, decreased surface adhesion, decreased water content, increased collagen content and smoother surfaces, correlating with a convergence to the mature cartilage phenotype. Furthermore, increased gene expression of surface structural protein collagen type I in growth factor-treated explants compared to reference cartilages demonstrates that they are still in the dynamic phase of the postnatal developmental transition. These data provide a basis for understanding the regulation of postnatal maturation of articular cartilage and the application of growth factor-induced maturation in vitro and in vivo in order to repair and regenerate cartilage defects.
The work described in this study has led to an award of a grant of £68,000 (18 months) to Dr I.M.Khan from Orthopaedic Research UK which is due to start in March 2013.
Cartilage, Maturation, FGF2, TGFb1, biomechanical
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences