Technologies for Treating Cartilage Tissue Loss Following Traumatic Injury
Phase I studies demonstrate that human adipose stem cells (ASCs) exhibit characteristics of chondrocytes when cultured in chondrogenic media (CM) and this is enhanced when they are first encapsulated in low viscosity, high mannuronate content alginate beads that are less than 200fYm in diameter containing 250 cells/bead. The microencapsulated cells express mRNAs for factors associated with chondrogenesis and secrete these factors into their media, suggesting that they will also do so in vivo. There are a number of questions remaining that must be addressed in order to move this technology to clinical application. Phase II research will demonstrate whether CM-treated microencapsulated ASCs will enhance cartilage repair and regeneration of craniofacial chondral defects in vivo. We propose to optimize processing conditions for chondrogenic growth factor production by determining if shorter CM-treatments are sufficient and if chondrogenic growth factor production varies among donors; identify the best processing protocol using a small rodent screening model by determining if CM-pretreatment time alters chondrogenic potential of microencapsulated ASCs in vivo and if donor variability is a factor; and test the ability of CM-treated microencapsulated ASCs will repair and regenerate craniofacial cartilage by assessing effectiveness in rabbit critical size auricular and nasal defects.
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