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Biomaterials. 2005 Jul;26(20):4273-9.

Cartilage regeneration using mesenchymal stem cells and a three-dimensional poly-lactic-glycolic acid (PLGA) scaffold.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nara Medical University, 840, Shijou-cho, Kashihara-city, Nara 634-8522, Japan.


Cartilage engineered from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) requires a scaffold to keep the cells in the cartilage defect and to act as a support for inducing hyaline cartilage formation. We developed a novel three-dimensional special poly-lactic-glycolic acid (PLGA) scaffold that provided structural support and stimulated repair. Three-dimensional PLGA scaffolds seeded with cultured MSCs were transplanted into large defects in rabbit knees and analyzed histologically at 4 and 12 weeks after the operation. Our findings showed that in the engineered cartilage with the PLGA scaffold, the defects were filled with smooth, shiny white tissue macroscopically and hyaline-like cartilage histologically at 12 weeks after the transplantation. The structure of the novel PLGA scaffolds provided architectural support for the differentiation of progenitor cells and demonstrated successful induction of in vivo chondrogenesis.

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