Research ArticleTissue Engineering

Recapitulating bone development through engineered mesenchymal condensations and mechanical cues for tissue regeneration

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Science Translational Medicine  05 Jun 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 495, eaav7756
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav7756

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Taking cues from development

One way that bone forms during development is termed endochondral ossification, a process requiring a cartilage intermediate. McDermott et al. mimicked this process during bone defect repair in rats, implanting cylindrical constructs of human mesenchymal stem cells and transforming growth factor–β1 into critical-sized femur defects and using fixation plates to apply mechanical loading. Loading altered cartilage persistence, blood vessel formation, and bone regeneration. Applying mechanical forces 4 weeks after construct implantation resulted in better bone bridging than loading at the time of implantation. This study demonstrates how mechanical loading can be used with tissue engineering to augment bone regeneration.