Combining chondrocytes and smooth muscle cells to engineer hybrid soft tissue constructs


Brown AN, Kim BS, Alsberg E, Mooney DJ. Combining chondrocytes and smooth muscle cells to engineer hybrid soft tissue constructs. Tissue Eng. 2000;6 (4) :297-305.

Date Published:

2000 Aug


Engineering new tissues using cell transplantation may provide a valuable tool for reconstructive surgery applications. Chondrocyte transplantation in particular has been successfully used to engineer new tissue masses due to the low metabolic requirements of these cells. However, the engineered cartilaginous tissue is too rigid for many soft tissue applications. We propose that hybrid tissue engineered from chondrocytes and smooth muscle cells could reflect mechanical properties intermediate between these two cell types. In this study, rat aortic smooth muscle cells and pig auricular chondrocytes were co-cultured on polyglycolic acid fiber-based matrices to address this hypothesis. Mixed cell suspensions were seeded by agitating the polymer matrices and a cell suspension with an orbital shaker. After seeding, cell-polymer constructs were cultured in stirred bioreactors for 8 weeks. The cell density and extracellular matrix (collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycan) content of the engineered tissues were determined biochemically. After 8 weeks in culture, the hybrid tissue had a high cell density (5.8 x 108 cells/cm(3)), and elastin (519 microg/g wet tissue sample), collagen (272 microg/g wet tissue sample), and glycosaminoglycan (GAG; 10 microg/g wet tissue sample) content. Mechanical testing indicated the compressive modulus of the hybrid tissues after 8 weeks to be 40.8 +/- 4.1 kPa and the equilibrium compressive modulus to be 8.4 +/- 0.8 kPa. Thus, these hybrid tissues exhibited intermediate stiffness; they were less stiff than native cartilage but stiffer than native smooth muscle tissue. This tissue engineering approach may be useful to engineer tissues for a variety of reconstructive surgery applications.
Last updated on 09/29/2017