Research ArticleTissue Engineering

Orchestrated biomechanical, structural, and biochemical stimuli for engineering anisotropic meniscus

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Science Translational Medicine  10 Apr 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 487, eaao0750
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao0750

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Engineering anisotropy

The meniscus is a fibrocartilage structure within a joint that helps reduce friction during joint movement. The outer and inner regions within the knee meniscus differ in cell types, extracellular matrix components, organization, and corresponding mechanical properties (anisotropy). Here, Zhang et al. used biomechanical stimulation and growth factor treatment during culture of mesenchymal stem cell–seeded polymer scaffolds to generate tissue constructs that mimic the native knee meniscus. The engineered meniscus constructs demonstrated long-term chondroprotection when implanted into the knees of rabbits. This study helps guide tissue engineering efforts to generate anisotropic constructs.