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Acta Biomater. 2013 Aug;9(8):7787-95. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 May 10.

High density type I collagen gels for tissue engineering of whole menisci.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


This study investigates the potential of high density type I collagen gels as an injectable scaffold for tissue engineering of whole menisci, and compares these results with previous strategies using alginate as an injectable scaffold. Bovine meniscal fibrochondrocytes were mixed with collagen and injected into micro-computed tomography-based molds to create 10 and 20mgml(-1) menisci that were cultured for up to 4weeks and compared with cultured alginate menisci. Contraction, histological, confocal microscopy, biochemical and mechanical analysis were performed to determine tissue development. After 4weeks culture, collagen menisci had preserved their shape and significantly improved their biochemical and mechanical properties. Both 10 and 20mgml(-1) menisci maintained their DNA content while significantly improving the glycosaminoglycan and collagen content, at values significantly higher than the alginate controls. Collagen menisci matched the alginate control in terms of the equilibrium modulus, and developed a 3- to 6-fold higher tensile modulus than alginate by 4weeks. Further fibrochondrocytes were able to reorganize the collagen gels into a more fibrous appearance similar to native menisci.

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