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PLoS One. 2019 May 2;14(5):e0208291. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208291. eCollection 2019.

Development of three-dimensional articular cartilage construct using silica nano-patterned substrate.

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Cell Therapy Center, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Molecular Science & Technology, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan, Korea.
Department of Physiology, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


Current strategies for cartilage cell therapy are mostly based on the use of autologous chondrocytes. However, these cells have limitations of a small number of cells available and of low chondrogenic ability, respectively. Many studies now suggest that fetal stem cells are more plastic than adult stem cells and can therefore more efficiently differentiate into target tissues. This study introduces, efficiency chondrogenic differentiation of fetal cartilage-derived progenitor cells (FCPCs) to adult cells can be achieved using a three-dimensional (3D) spheroid culture method based on silica nanopatterning techniques. In evaluating the issue of silica nano-particle size (Diameter of 300, 750, 1200 nm), each particle size was coated into the well of a 6-well tissue culture plate. FCPCs (2 x 105 cells/well in 6-well plate) were seeded in each well with chondrogenic medium. In this study, the 300 nm substrate that formed multi-spheroids and the 1200 nm substrate that showed spreading were due to the cell-cell adhesion force(via N-cadherin) and cell-substrate(via Integrin) force, the 750 nm substrate that formed the mass-aggregation can be interpreted as the result of cell monolayer formation through cell-substrate force followed by cell-cell contact force contraction. We conclude that our 3D spheroid culture system contributes to an optimization for efficient differentiation of FCPC, offers insight into the mechanism of efficient differentiation of engineered 3D culture system, and has promise for wide applications in regeneration medicine and drug discovery fields.

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