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Biomacromolecules. 2012 May 14;13(5):1625-31. doi: 10.1021/bm3003336. Epub 2012 May 4.

ECM production of primary human and bovine chondrocytes in hybrid PEG hydrogels containing type I collagen and hyaluronic acid.

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Department of Polymer Science, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325, USA.


The development of advanced materials that facilitate hyaline cartilage formation and regeneration in aging populations is imperative. Critical to the success of this endeavor is the optimization of ECM production from clinically relevant cells. However, much of the current literature focuses on the investigation of primary bovine chondrocytes from young calves, which differ significantly than osteoarthritic cells from human sources. This study examines the levels of extracellular matrix (ECM) production using various levels of type I collagen and hyaluronic acid in poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDM) hydrogels in total knee arthroplasties, compared with the results from bovine chondrocytes. The addition of type 1 collagen in both the presence and absence of low levels of hyaluronic acid increased ECM production and/or retention in scaffolds containing either bovine or human chondrocytes. These findings are supported consistently with colorimetric quantification, whole mount extracellular matrix staining for both cell types, and histological staining for glycoaminoglycans and collagen of human chondrocyte containing samples. While exhibiting similar trends, the relative ECM productions levels for the primary human chondrocytes are significantly less than the bovine chondrocytes which reinforces the need for additional optimization.

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