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Journal of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons 1999;26(3):383-391.
Published online May 1, 1999.
In Vitro Tissue Engineering of Cartilage using Autologous Fibrin Glue and Chondrocytes.
Sung Pyo Hong, Jin Sik Burm, Jae Kyung Park, Jin Young Kim, Doo Hyung Lee
Neomorphogenesis of cartilage using chondrocyte-polymer constructs is a potential source for development of cartilage reconstruction. Current tissue engineering techniques of neocartilage rely on in vivo implantation of polymer-chondrocyte constructs. The purpose of this study was to find a way to bioengineer cartilage in vitro by entrapping chondrocytes in a molded autologous fibrin glue. Chondrocytes isolated from the cartilage of rabbit joints were combined with fibrinogen extracted by a single cryoprecipitation of autologous plasma, and they were then polymerized with thrombin to create a fibrin glue with a final cell density of 2.5x10(6) cells/ml. The collagen for a control study was used as a polymer. The polymer-chondrocyte constructs were cultured for 4 weeks and the fibrin-chondrocyte constructs molded in the shape of a human ear were cultured for 6 weeks in vitro. Morphometric, histochemical, and histomorphometric analysis including glycosaminoglycan quantitation confirmed the following results: 1) Highly-concentrated autologous fibrinogen was easily extracted by a single cryoprecipition of autologous olasma. 2) The fibrin-chondrocyte constructs demonstrated the presence of actively proliferating chondrocytes with the production of cartilaginous matrix(collagen and glycosaminoglycan) at 1 week after culture, as well as gross and histologic evidence similar to those of normal cartilage at 3-4 weeks after culture. 3) The collagen-chondrocyte constructs demonstrated lower degrees of hardness and transparency, as well as a lower density of cells and glycosaminoglycan during the culture period. 4) Neocartilage generated from fibrin-chondrocyte constructs in the shape of a human ear nearly retained their original configuration and size without degeneration for 6 weeks of culture in vitro. This study demonstrated a novel method for bioengineering the molded cartilage in vitro using autologous fibrin glue as a matrix scaffold. The generated cartilage showed gross and histologic evidence similar to those of normal cartilage, retaining the original gross dimension. With further refinement, this may be a new application of tissue engineering for the reconstruction of cartilage.
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