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Acta Biomater. 2017 Jul 1;56:110-117. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.10.040. Epub 2016 Oct 29.

A model system for developing a tissue engineered meniscal enthesis.

Author information

1
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States. Electronic address: mcm338@cornell.edu.
2
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States. Electronic address: mmm449@cornell.edu.
3
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States. Electronic address: xs245@cornell.edu.
4
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States. Electronic address: djc437@cornell.edu.
5
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States. Electronic address: jwl287@cornell.edu.
6
Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States; Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States. Electronic address: lb244@cornell.edu.

Abstract

The meniscus acts as a stabilizer, lubricator, and load distributer in the knee joint. The mechanical stability of the meniscus depends on its connection to the underlying bone by a fibrocartilage to bone transition zone called the meniscal enthesis. Tissue engineered menisci hold great promise as a treatment alternative however lack a means of integrated fixation to the underlying bone needed in order for a tissue engineered meniscal replacement to be successful. Tissue engineering the meniscal enthesis is a difficult task given the complex gradients of cell type, mineral, and extracellular matrix molecules. Therefore, there is a need for a simplified and high throughput enthesis model to test experimental parameters. The goal of this study was to develop a simplified enthesis model to test collagen integration with decellularized bone. We found that injection molding collagen into tubing loaded with decellularized bone plugs resulted in a scaffold with three regions: bone, bone-collagen, and collagen. Furthermore, collagen formation was directed in the axial direction by using mechanical fixation at the bony ends. The results of this study showed that this technique can be used to mimic the native enthesis morphology and serves as ideal test platform to generate a model tissue engineered enthesis.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:

The meniscal enthesis is a complex structure that is essential to mechanical stability of the meniscus and the knee joint. Several studies document the development of anatomically shaped tissue engineered meniscus constructs, but none have focused on how to integrate such tissues with underlying bone. This study establishes a simplified construct to model the meniscal enthesis composed of a collagen gel seeded with meniscal fibrochondrocytes integrated with decellularized cancellous bone. Mechanical fixation at the bony ends induced tissue integration of fibers into the bony tissue, which is critical for mechanical performance and has yet to be shown in enthesis literature. Our test platform is amenable to targeted experiments investigating mineralization gradients, collagen fiber alignment, cell population phenotype, and media conditioning with experimental impact on enthesis studies for meniscus, tendon, and ligament.

KEYWORDS:

Collagen fibers; Collagen gel; Enthesis; Integration; Meniscus

PMID:
27989921
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2016.10.040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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