Journal Article


Conor Timothy Buckley
Daniel John Kelly



bone marrow cells tissue engineering mechanical properties functional properties spatial concentration mesenchymal stem cells extracellular matrix oxygen consumption

The influence of construct scale on the composition and functional properties of cartilaginous tissues engineered using bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. (2012)

Abstract Engineering cartilaginous tissue of a scale necessary to treat defects observed clinically is a well-documented challenge in the field of cartilage tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to determine how the composition and mechanical properties of cartilaginous tissues that are engineered by using bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) depend on the scale of the construct. Porcine bone marrow-derived MSCs were encapsulated in agarose hydrogels, and constructs of different cylindrical geometries (?4?1.5 mm; ?5?3 mm; ?6?4.5 mm; ?8?4.5?mm) were fabricated and maintained in a chemically defined serum-free medium supplemented with transforming growth factor-?3 for 42 days. Total sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) accumulation by day 42 increased from 0.14% w/w to 0.88% w/w as the construct geometry increased from ?4?1.5 to ?8?4.5?mm, with collagen accumulation increasing from 0.31% w/w to 1.62% w/w. This led to an increase in the dynamic modulus from 90.81 to 327.51?kPa as the engineered tissue increased in scale from ?4?1.5 to ?8?4.5?mm. By decreasing the external oxygen tension from 20% to 5%, it was possible to achieve these higher levels of mechanical functionality in the smaller engineered tissues. Constructs were then sectioned into smaller subregions to quantify the spatial accumulation of extracellular matrix components, and a model of oxygen diffusion and consumption was used to predict spatial gradients in oxygen concentration throughout the construct. sGAG accumulation was always highest in regions where oxygen concentration was predicted to be lowest. In addition, as the size of the engineered construct increased, different regions of the construct preferentially supported either sGAG or collagen accumulation, thus suggesting that gradients in regulatory factors other than oxygen were playing a role in determining levels of collagen synthesis. The identification of such factors and the means to control their spatial concentration within developing tissues represents a central challenge in engineering large cartilaginous grafts.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Conor Timothy Buckley, Daniel John Kelly

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Conor T Buckley
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 91
Daniel Kelly
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 190