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Adv Space Res. 1996;17(6-7):289-93.

Chondrogenesis in aggregates of embryonic limb cells grown in a rotating wall vessel.

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Department of Craniofacial Growth and Development, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston 77225, USA.


Previous studies in this lab have shown that chondrogenesis is affected in growth plates of rats exposed to microgravity, and in micromass cultures of embryonic limb mesenchyme differentiating in space. In order to provide a three dimensional aspect not seen in the micromass system, and a tissue homogeneity not possible with explants of limb or limb elements, and to alleviate certain difficulties regarding crew time and stowage, we began culturing embryonic limb cells in Rotating Wall Vessels (RWV). First, these cells were attached to beads, and grown for up to 65 days in a type of RWV known as STLV at the Johnson Space Center. During this time, the cells and beads aggregated and the aggregates continued to increase in size, and differentiated into Alcian blue staining chondrocytes. Because our intent was to use these aggregates for implanting into bony defects in addition to their use in studies of chondrogenic regulation at 1g and microgravity, aggregates of these cells without beads were grown in the commercially available version of the STLV, and their ability to ossify when subcutaneously implanted assessed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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