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J Biosci Bioeng. 2005 Mar;99(3):197-207.

A kinetic modeling of chondrocyte culture for manufacture of tissue-engineered cartilage.

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  • 1Division of Chemical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, 1-3 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan.


For repairing articular cartilage defects, innovative techniques based on tissue engineering have been developed and are now entering into the practical stage of clinical application by means of grafting in vitro cultured products. A variety of natural and artificial materials available for scaffolds, which permit chondrocyte cells to aggregate, have been designed for their ability to promote cell growth and differentiation. From the viewpoint of the manufacturing process for tissue-engineered cartilage, the diverse nature of raw materials (seeding cells) and end products (cultured cartilage) oblige us to design a tailor-made process with less reproducibility, which is an obstacle to establishing a production doctrine based on bioengineering knowledge concerning growth kinetics and modeling as well as designs of bioreactors and culture operations for certification of high product quality. In this article, we review the recent advances in the manufacturing of tissue-engineered cartilage. After outlining the manufacturing processes for tissue-engineered cartilage in the first section, the second and third sections, respectively, describe the three-dimensional culture of chondrocytes with Aterocollagen gel and kinetic model consideration as a tool for evaluating this culture process. In the final section, culture strategy is discussed in terms of the combined processes of monolayer growth (ex vivo chondrocyte cell expansion) and three-dimensional growth (construction of cultured cartilage in the gel).

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