eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2012   Volume No 24 – pages 292-307

Title: Detection of abnormalities in the superficial zone of cartilage repaired using a tissue engineered construct derived from synovial stem cells

Author: W Ando, H Fujie, Y Moriguchi, R Nansai, K Shimomura, DA Hart, H Yoshikawa, N Nakamura

Address: Center for Advanced Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

E-mail: norimasa.nakamura at

Key Words: Cartilage tissue engineering; animal model; image analysis; mechanical properties; mechanical test; microstructure.

Publication date: September 28th 2012

Abstract: The present study investigated the surface structure and mechanical properties of repair cartilage generated from a tissue engineered construct (TEC) derived from synovial mesenchymal stem cells at six months post-implantation compared to those of uninjured cartilage. TEC-mediated repair tissue was cartilaginous with Safranin O staining, and had comparable macro-scale compressive properties with uninjured cartilage. However, morphological assessments revealed that the superficial zone of TEC-mediated tissue was more fibrocartilage-like, in contrast to the middle or deep zones that were more hyaline cartilage-like with Safranin O staining. Histological scoring of the TEC-mediated tissue was significantly lower in the superficial zone than in the middle and deep zones. Scanning electron microscopy showed a thick tangential bundle of collagen fibres at the most superficial layer of uninjured cartilage, while no corresponding structure was detected at the surface of TEC-mediated tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that PRG4 was localised in the superficial area of uninjured cartilage, as well as the TEC-mediated tissue. Friction testing showed that the lubrication properties of the two tissues was similar, however, micro-indentation analysis revealed that the surface stiffness of the TEC-repair tissue was significantly lower than that of uninjured cartilage. Permeability testing indicated that the TEC-mediated tissue exhibited lower water retaining capacity than did uninjured cartilage, specifically at the superficial zone. Thus, TEC-mediated tissue exhibited compromised mechanical properties at the superficial zone, properties which need improvement in the future for maintenance of long term repair cartilage integrity.

Article download: Pages 292-307 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v024a21