Scientists progress in successful tissue engineering

Mar 23, 2007

Tissue engineering is a relatively new field of basic and clinical science that is concerned, in part, with creating tissues that can augment or replace injured, defective, or diseased body parts.

The approach to fabricating the tissues involves adding specific cell types to grow on a polymer scaffold having the shape of the tissue to be restored. The scaffold gradually disappears, while the cells continue developing in the scaffold shape. With the use of non-human animal cells, there has been considerable recent progress made in the engineering of skin, bladder, cartilage, and several other tissues.

Today, during the 85th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, scientists are reporting on experiments applying human cells from cartilage (chondrocytes) on a scaffold. If the chondrocytes could be successfully grown in this manner, they were also interested in determining whether their development could be enhanced by a protein (osteogenic protein-1) that was known to increase production by chondrocytes of a major cartilage extracellular matrix component, proteoglycan. This study had not been undertaken previously.

Experiments were conducted as follows: Normal ankle cartilage was obtained from a deceased adult through the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network in Elmhurst, IL. The chondrocytes from the cartilage were isolated and purified by standard laboratory procedures. They were then applied to small polymer (polyglycolic acid) scaffolds that were disc-shaped.

Three such constructs were created for comparison of possible cell growth and proteoglycan production. The first consisted of a scaffold treated with cells only, the second a scaffold with cells to which osteogenic protein-1 (from Stryker Biotech, Hopkinton, MA) was added drop-wise, and the third a scaffold incorporating timed-release capsules of osteogenic protein-1 together with cells.

The constructs were maintained for 4 weeks and then analyzed for the presence of chondrocytes and production of proteoglycan. Results showed successful tissue engineering of the chondrocytes on scaffolds and enhancement of proteoglycan production with osteogenic protein-1 delivered to the cells by either droplet addition or timed release.

The studies established that human chondrocytes are able to develop cartilage by the tissue-engineering methods used, and promise further advances toward therapeutic tissue engineering by laboratory means.

Source: International & American Association for Dental Research

Explore further: The impact of bacteria in our guts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Finding the sweet spot for cartilage formation

Aug 13, 2014

Joint injuries often fail to mend properly when not given assistance. In particular, cartilage exhibits a poor capacity for self-repair. It is possible to stimulate regeneration by implanting synthetic scaffolds ...

Researchers show stem cell fate depends on 'grip'

Mar 28, 2013

The field of regenerative medicine holds great promise, propelled by greater understanding of how stem cells differentiate themselves into many of the body's different cell types. But clinical applications ...

Treating vascular disorders with a cell-based strategy

Oct 18, 2012

A research team at Weill Cornell Medical College has discovered a way to utilize diagnostic prenatal amniocentesis cells, reprogramming them into abundant and stable endothelial cells capable of regenerating damaged blood ...

Recommended for you

The impact of bacteria in our guts

Aug 22, 2014

The word metabolism gets tossed around a lot, but it means much more than whether you can go back to the buffet for seconds without worrying about your waistline. In fact, metabolism is the set of biochemical ...

Stem cell therapies hold promise, but obstacles remain

Aug 22, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—In an article appearing online today in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including University of Rochester neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and ch ...

New hope in fight against muscular dystrophy

Aug 22, 2014

Research at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers hope to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable, debilitating disease that cuts young lives short.

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

Aug 21, 2014

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

User comments : 0