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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2015 Jul;103(5):983-91. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.33269. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

Adhesion and integration of tissue engineered cartilage to porous polyethylene for composite ear reconstruction.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


The objective of this study was to assess the ability of tissue engineered cartilage to adhere to and integrate with porous polyethylene (PPE) in vivo and to evaluate the biomechanical integrity of the bond formed at the interface. Porcine auricular, articular, and costal chondrocytes were suspended in fibrin gel polymer and placed between discs of PPE to form tri-layer constructs. Controls consisted of fibroblasts suspended in gel or gel alone between the discs. Constructs were implanted into nude mice for 6, 12, and 18 weeks. Upon harvest, specimens were evaluated for neocartilage formation and integration into the PPE, using histological, dimensional (mass, thickness, diameter), and biomechanical (adhesion strength, interfacial stiffness, failure energy and failure strain) analyses. Neotissue was formed in all experimental constructs, consisting mostly of neocartilage integrating with discs of PPE. Control samples contained only fibrous tissue. Biomechanical analyses demonstrated that adhesion strength, interfacial stiffness, and failure energy were all significantly higher in the chondrocyte-seeded samples than in fibroblast-seeded controls, with the exception of costal constructs at 12 weeks, which were not significantly greater than controls. In general, failure strains did not vary between groups. In conclusion, porous polyethylene supported the growth of neocartilage that formed mechanically functional bonds with the PPE.


adhesion; biomechanical analysis; cartilage tissue engineering; integrative repair; porous polyethylene; tissue engineered ear

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