In order to develop articular cartilage grafts, one must control shape and safety. We have developed scaffold-free culture methods in which the cells form multicellular aggregates (organoids). In this study, we applied the organoid culture method to chondrocytes attempting to reconstitute articular cartilage grafts. Primary rat costal chondrocytes and subcultured human articular chondrocytes were immobilized in hollow fibers by centrifugation at a density of 3 × 108 cells/cm3 to induce the formation of cylindrical-shaped organoids. To improve convenience, we developed a culture device to form sheet-shaped organoids (organoid-sheet). Primary bovine articular chondrocytes were cultured in this device. These organoids were evaluated by histological and gene expression analyses. In the primary rat culture system, chondrocytes formed cylindrical organoids in hollow fibers. Histochemical analysis revealed the presence of extracellular matrix (collagen and proteoglycan). The organoid maintained cartilage-specific gene expression (type II collagen, aggrecan) for 1 month of culture. In the subcultured human chondrocyte system, the organoid regained the decreased cartilage-specific gene expression. In the primary bovine culture system, the cells formed a 300 μm thickness organoid-sheet including abundant extracellular matrix. In conclusion, our organoid formation method was effective to form cartilage-like tissue. This result suggested that the technique may be applicable for the development of an articular cartilage graft.
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2008|
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