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    Suppressing mesenchymal stem cell hypertrophy and endochondral ossification in 3D cartilage regeneration with nanofibrous poly(l-lactic acid) scaffold and matrilin-3. Liu Qihai,Wang Jun,Chen Yupeng,Zhang Zhanpeng,Saunders Laura,Schipani Ernestina,Chen Qian,Ma Peter X Acta biomaterialia Articular cartilage has a very limited ability to self-heal after injury or degeneration due to its low cellularity, poor proliferative activity, and avascular nature. Current clinical options are able to alleviate patient suffering, but cannot sufficiently regenerate the lost tissue. Biomimetic scaffolds that recapitulate the important features of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of cartilage are hypothesized to be advantageous in supporting cell growth, chondrogenic differentiation, and integration of regenerated cartilage with native cartilage, ultimately restoring the injured tissue to its normal function. It remains a challenge to support and maintain articular cartilage regenerated by bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), which are prone to hypertrophy and endochondral ossification after implantation in vivo. In the present work, a nanofibrous poly(l-lactic acid) (NF PLLA) scaffold developed by our group was utilized because of the desired highly porous structure, high interconnectivity, and collagen-like NF architecture to support rabbit BMSCs for articular cartilage regeneration. We further hypothesized that matrilin-3 (MATN3), a non-collagenous, cartilage-specific ECM protein, would enhance the microenvironment of the NF PLLA scaffold for cartilage regeneration and maintain the cartilage property. To test this hypothesis, we seeded BMSCs on the NF PLLA scaffold with or without MATN3. We found that MATN3 suppresses hypertrophy in this 3D culture system in vitro. Subcutaneous implantation of the chondrogenic cell/scaffold constructs in a nude mouse model showed that pretreatment with MATN3 was able to maintain chondrogenesis and prevent hypertrophy and endochondral ossification in vivo. These results demonstrate that the porous NF PLLA scaffold treated with MATN3 represents an advantageous 3D microenvironment for cartilage regeneration and phenotype maintenance, and is a promising strategy for articular cartilage repair. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:Articular cartilage defects, caused by trauma, inflammation, or joint instability, may ultimately lead to debilitating pain and disability. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are an attractive cell source for articular cartilage tissue engineering. However, chondrogenic induction of BMSCs is often accompanied by undesired hypertrophy, which can lead to calcification and ultimately damage the cartilage. Therefore, a therapy to prevent hypertrophy and endochondral ossification is of paramount importance to adequately regenerate articular cartilage. We hypothesized that MATN3 (a non-collagenous ECM protein expressed exclusively in cartilage) may improve regeneration of articular cartilage with BMSCs by maintaining chondrogenesis and preventing hypertrophic transition in an ECM mimicking nanofibrous scaffold. Our results showed that the administration of MATN3 to the cell/nanofibrous scaffold constructs favorably maintained chondrogenesis and prevented hypertrophy/endochondral ossification in the chondrogenic constructs in vitro and in vivo. The combination of nanofibrous PLLA scaffolds and MATN3 treatment provides a very promising strategy to generate chondrogenic grafts with phenotypic stability for articular cartilage repair. 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.06.027
    Cartilage regeneration using a novel gelatin-chondroitin-hyaluronan hybrid scaffold containing bFGF-impregnated microspheres. Deng Tianzheng,Huang Sha,Zhou Shuxia,He Lisheng,Jin Yan Journal of microencapsulation Cartilage engineered from chondrocytes requires a scaffold to keep the cells in the cartilage defect and to act as a support for inducing hyaline cartilage formation on occasion. In this study, we developed a novel three-dimensional special scaffold in combination with a controlled release of bFGF, which provided structural support and stimulated repair. Gelatin microspheres loaded with bFGF (GM-bFGF) showed a fast release at the initial phase (28.23%) and the ultimate accumulated release was 92.9% by day 14. Three-dimensional gelatin-chondroitin-hyaluronan hybrid scaffolds seeded with cultured autologous chondrocytes were transplanted into the defects in rabbit knees and analyzed histologically at 12 and 24 weeks after the operation. Our findings showed that the defects were filled with smooth, shiny white cartilaginous tissue macroscopically and hyaline-like cartilage histologically 24 weeks postoperatively. The present study implied the great potential of the novel scaffold with GM-bFGF as a new way to promote the retention of chondrocytes and it might serve as a desirable cartilaginous tissue scaffolds to enhance the chondrogenesis. 10.1080/02652040701233523
    Tracheal cartilage growth by intratracheal injection of basic fibroblast growth factor. Komura Makoto,Komura Hiroko,Komuro Hiroaki,Ikebukuro Kenichi,Hikita Atsuhiko,Hoshi Kazuto,Takato Tsuyoshi Journal of pediatric surgery BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:We have previously shown that intratracheal injection of slowly released (in gelatin) basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) significantly enlarged the tracheal lumen by a slight margin. This study aimed to investigate differences in tracheal cartilage growth by the intratracheal injection of bFGF doses in a rabbit model. METHODS:Water (group 1; n=7; control) or 100μg (group 2; n=8) or 200μg (group 3; n=8) of bFGF dissolved in water was injected into the posterior wall of the cervical trachea of New Zealand white rabbits using a tracheoscope. All animals were sacrificed four weeks later. RESULTS:The mean circumferences of cervical tracheas for groups 1, 2, and 3 were 18.8±0.83, 21.1±2.0, and 22.1±1.3mm, respectively. A significant difference was found between groups 1 and 2 (P=0.034) and groups 1 and 3 (P=0.004). The mean luminal areas of cervical tracheas for groups 1, 2, and 3 were 27.0±2.1, 32.2±4.8, and 36.3±4.6mm, respectively. A significant difference was found between groups 1 and 3 (P=0.001). CONCLUSION:Intratracheal injection of bFGF in the dose range used significantly promoted the growth of tracheal cartilage in a rabbit model. LEVELS OF EVIDENCE:Level II at treatment study (animal experiment). 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2016.11.011
    Evaluation of cartilage regeneration of chondrocyte encapsulated gellan gum-based hyaluronic acid blended hydrogel. Kim Won Kyung,Choi Joo Hee,Shin Myeong Eun,Kim Jin Woo,Kim Pil Yun,Kim Namyeong,Song Jeong Eun,Khang Gilson International journal of biological macromolecules Hydrogels have shown to be advantageous in supporting damaged cartilage because of its analogous to the extracellular matrix (ECM) of cartilage tissue. However, problems such as infection and inflammation are still a challenge to be solved. In terms of tissue engineering, natural materials are more advantageous than synthetic materials in biocompatibility and biodegradability status. Herein, physically blended nature-derived gellan gum (GG) hydrogel and hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel is suggested as a one of solution for cartilage tissue engineering material. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of GG/HA hydrogel in vitro and in vivo. The chemical and mechanical properties were measured to confirm the compatibility of hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering. The viability, proliferation, morphology, and gene expression of chondrocytes encapsulated in hydrogels were examined in vitro. Furthermore, the beneficial effect of the blended hydrogel was confirmed by performing the in vivo experiment. The chemical properties of hydrogels confirmed the well physically blended hydrogels. The mechanical studies of hydrogels displayed that as the content of HA increases, the swelling ratio was higher, compressive strength decreased and degradation was faster. Therefore, to use the hydrogel of GG and HA network, the proper amount must be blended. The in vitro study of chondrocytes encapsulated GG/HA hydrogel showed that the proper amount of HA enhanced the cell growth, attachment, and gene expression. The in vivo examination verified the advantageous effect of GG/HA hydrogel. Overall results demonstrate that GG/HA hydrogel is suitable for culturing chondrocyte and can be further applied for the treatment of cartilage defects. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.08.176