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Open Access Behavior of Human Articular Chondrocytes During In Vivo Culture in Closed, Permeable Chambers

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The exact contribution of transplanted chondrocytes for cartilage tissue repair prior expansion in monolayer culures remains undetermined. At our laboratory, we have created a new permeable chamber to study the chondrogenesis of dedifferentiated cells implanted ectopically in a closed and controlled environment. The behavior of chondrocytes has been studied in settings frequently used in clinical approaches during transplantation, namely injection of autologous chondrocyte cells in suspension (ACI), cells soaked in collagen membranes (MACI), and cells applied in a polymer gel (fibrin). As controls, we have tested the redifferentiation of chondrocytes in cell aggregates, and we have checked the proper functionality of chambers both in vitro and in vivo. After retrieval, firmed tissue-like shapes were recovered only from chambers containing cells seeded in membranes. Histomorphological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural analyses revealed synthesis of fibrous-like tissue, characterized by low-density collagen fibers, low collagen type II, abundant collagen type I, and low amounts of proteoglycans. Additionally, neither the collagen membranes nor the fibrin gel was reabsorbed by cells. In summary, our results show that the newly developed permeable chambers function correctly, allowing proper cell feeding and preventing cell leakage or host cell invasion. Additionally, our results suggest that, under these circumstances, chondrocytes are not able to orchestrate formation of hyaline cartilage and have little capacity to degrade artificial membranes or carrier gels such as fibrin. These are interesting observations that should be considered for understanding what role the transplanted chondrocytes play during restoration of articular cartilage after implantation.
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Keywords: Cartilage; Chondrogenesis; Closed permeable chambers; Collagen membranes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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  • The importance of translating original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell therapy and its application to human diseases to society has led to the formation of the journal Cell Medicine. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, the same rigorous peer review will be applied to articles published in Cell Medicine. Articles may deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, and stem cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers may also be featured if they have a translational interest. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Medicine will report on relevant technological advances and their potential for translational medicine. Cell Medicine will be a purely online Open Access journal. There will therefore be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow your work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle you to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of your manuscript.

    Cell Medicine is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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