Type i collagen-based fibrous capsule enhances integration of tissue-engineered cartilage with native articular cartilage

Yueh Hsun Yang, Mary B. Ard, Jaroslava T. Halper, Gilda A. Barabino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Successful integration of engineered constructs with host tissues is crucial for cartilage repair, yet achieving it remains challenging. A collagen I-based fibrous capsule characterized by increased cell density and decreased glycosaminoglycan deposition usually forms at the periphery of tissue-engineered cartilage. The current study aimed to evaluate the effects of a solid fibrous capsule on construct integration with native articular cartilage. To this end, capsule-containing (CC) and capsule-free (CF) constructs were grown by culturing chondrocyte-seeded scaffolds with insulin-like growth factor-1 and transforming growth factorb1, respectively, in a wavy-walled bioreactor that imparts hydrodynamic forces for 4 weeks. The ability of harvested constructs to integrate with native cartilage was determined using a cartilage explant model. Our results revealed that adhesive stress between native cartilage and the CC constructs was 57% higher than that in the CF group, potentially due to the absence of glycosaminoglycans and increased cell density in the capsule region and deposition of denser and thicker collagen fibrils at the integration site. The present work demonstrates that the fibrous capsule can effectively enhance early integration of engineered and native cartilage tissues and thus suggests the need to include the capsule as a variable in the development of cartilage tissue engineering strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-726
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of biomedical engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cartilage explant model
  • Cartilage tissue engineering
  • Fibrous capsule
  • Hydrodynamic
  • Integration
  • Wavy-walled bioreactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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