The weak intrinsic meniscus healing response and technical challenges associated with meniscus repair contribute to a high rate of repair failures and meniscectomies. Given this limited healing response, the development of biologically active adjuncts to meniscal repair may hold the key to improving meniscal repair success rates. This study demonstrates the development of a bone marrow (BM) adhesive that binds, stabilizes, and stimulates fusion at the interface of meniscus tissues. Hydrogels containing several chondroitin sulfate (CS) adhesive levels (30, 50, and 70 mg/mL) and BM levels (30%, 50%, and 70%) were formed to investigate the effects of these components on hydrogel mechanics, bovine meniscal fibrochondrocyte viability, proliferation, matrix production, and migration ability in vitro. The BM content positively and significantly affected fibrochondrocyte viability, proliferation, and migration, while the CS content positively and significantly affected adhesive strength (ranged from 60±17 kPa to 335±88 kPa) and matrix production. Selected material formulations were translated to a subcutaneous model of meniscal fusion using adhered bovine meniscus explants implanted in athymic rats and evaluated over a 3-month time course. Fusion of adhered meniscus occurred in only the material containing the highest BM content. The technology can serve to mechanically stabilize the tissue repair interface and stimulate tissue regeneration across the injury site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering