10 June 2008

High pressure is necessary for the manufacture of artificial cartilage

Scientists at Rice University (Houston, Texas), working under the guidance of Professor Kyriacos Athanasiou, have demonstrated that high pressure, corresponding to pressure at a depth of half a mile below the ocean surface, stimulates chondrocytes to form tissue that has almost all the properties of normal cartilage. The authors believe that the proposed approach is also applicable for growing other tissues, including the bladder, blood vessels, kidneys, heart valves and bones.

Cartilage tissue, unable to regenerate, performs the role of a shock absorber in the body, the density, elasticity and other characteristics of which are due not only to living cells, but to the dense matrix of collagen and proteoglycan surrounding them. This extracellular (extracellular) matrix is synthesized during the formation of cartilage in childhood and does not recover from damage in adulthood.

Cartilage tissue injuries often serve as foci of arthritis, so tissue engineering specialists have long been looking for a way to grow new cartilage to replace the damaged area.

The authors claim that the use of a combination of hydrostatic pressure and growth factors makes it possible to grow a living material with properties almost identical to those of natural cartilage.

During the experiments, the authors obtained small fragments of cartilage from the knee joints of calves, dissolved the extracellular matrix and isolated chondrocytes. The cells were placed in a composition containing growth factors and sealed in soft plastic containers, which were placed in a chamber connected to a hydraulic press. For one hour a day, the containers were compressed under high pressure.

The pressure used roughly corresponded to the hydrostatic pressure developing in our knee joints when walking or running. However, in daily life, joint pressure is very variable and its maximum value is maintained for about a second.

The authors claim that the biomechanical strength of cartilage obtained by using a combination of growth factors and high pressure is about 3 times higher than the strength of tissue obtained under the influence of one of these factors.

To date, the process has been tested only on cow cartilage cells. In addition, the grown tissue has not yet been implanted in animals. The authors believe that several more years will pass before the start of clinical trials of the method, but they are confident that the method they propose is very promising and will help relieve a huge number of people from suffering.

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of ScienceDaily


Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version