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Biomaterials. 2004 Aug;25(17):3681-8.

Tissue engineering of biphasic cartilage constructs using various biodegradable scaffolds: an in vitro study.

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Osteoarticular Research, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 31, Bern 3010, Switzerland.


Biological restoration of osteochondral defects requires suitable subchondral support material that also allows the induction of hyaline cartilage tissue. Biphasic implants consisting of pre-fabricated neocartilage and an underlying biodegradable osteoconductive base may meet these requirements. Here we explore various candidate biodegradable support materials onto which neo-cartilage was produced in vitro. Porcine chondrocytes were seeded in a closed and static bioreactor with a base of biomaterial consisting of either poly-L-lactide [P(L)LA], poly-d,l-lactide [P(D,L)LA] or Collagen-hydroxyapatite [Col-HA] and were cultured for 15 weeks. Viable neo-cartilage was produced on each biomaterial with differing amounts of cellular colonisation. P(D,L)LA breakdown was more rapid and uneven among the three biomaterials, leading to constructs of irregular shape. Little or no breakdown or chondrocyte colonisation was evident in P(L)LA. Col-HA constructs were superior in terms of viability, implant morphology and integration between neo-cartilage and biomaterial. These results indicate that our reported system has potential for producing biphasic implants that may be adequate for the repair of osteochondral defects.

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