Biomechanical Analysis Of Tissue Engineering Construct For Articular Cartilage Restoration - A Pre-Clinical Study
University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BRAZIL
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Summary: Biomechanical analysis of articular cartilage treated with a tissue engineering construct was feasible and capable to properly evaluate cartilage restoration by demonstrating the integrity and property through the determination of the Young Modulus of the cartilage with and without treatment.
The chondral lesion and osteoarthritis are conditions associated with an economic burden, since if left untreated may cause changes in the biomechanics of the joint and result in several injuries considered highly disabling to the individual. Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) have the immunomodulatory capacity and paracrine signaling that are useful for tissue bioengineering to treat bone and cartilage injuries. The articular cartilage is a viscoelastic material that can undergone structural and compositional changes; therefore it is important to assess the physical properties of the tissue through mechanical evaluation. To the best of our knowledge, there is no institution in Brazil studying cartilage biomechanical properties in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) technique. Objective: This study aims to describe biomechanics analysis for cartilage restoration by tissue engineering and cell therapy treatments in a GMP translational large animal model. Methods: A controlled experimental study in fourteen Brazilian miniature pigs was performed, using scaffold-free Tissue Engineering Construct (TEC) from dental pulp and synovial MSCs with 6 months follow-up. To compare the cartilage with and without TEC, three cycles of strain stress-relaxation indentation and maximum compressive tests were performed, as well as Finite Element (FE) model using ANSYS R17.2 to simulate the osteochondral block and characterize its properties. Indentation and maximum compressive tests assessed the properties of the solid matrix and mechanical proprieties of the tissue repair in control and treatment groups. Results: In preliminary analysis, the indentation response showed the hysteresis phenomenon evidencing the viscoelastic property of the articular cartilage. The FE analysis showed the force distribution in the osteochondral block. Conclusion: The proposed method was feasible and capable to properly evaluate articular cartilage restoration by demonstrating the cartilage integrity and property through the determination of the Young Modulus of the cartilage with and without TEC treatment.
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