Additive and synergistic effects of bFGF and hypoxia on leporine meniscus cell-seeded PLLA scaffolds

Najmuddin J. Gunja, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Injuries to avascular regions of menisci do not heal and result in significant discomfort to patients. Current treatments, such as partial meniscectomy, alleviate these symptoms in the short term but lead to premature osteoarthritis as a result of compromised stability and changes in knee biomechanics. Thus, tissue engineering of the meniscus may provide an alternative treatment modality to overcome this problem. In this experiment, a scaffold-based tissue-engineering approach was utilized to regenerate the meniscus. Meniscus cells were cultured on poly-L-lactic acid scaffolds in normoxic (∼21% oxygen) or hypoxic (∼2% oxygen) conditions in the presence or absence of the growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). At t = 4 weeks, histological sections of constructs showed presence of collagen and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) in all groups. Immunohistochemical staining showed the presence of collagen I in all groups and collagen II in groups cultured under hypoxic conditions. bFGF in the culture medium significantly increased cell number/construct by 25%, regardless of culture conditions. For GAG/construct, synergistic increases were observed in constructs cultured in hypoxic conditions and bFGF (two-fold) when compared to constructs cultured in normoxic conditions. Compressive tests showed synergistic increases in the relaxation modulus and coefficient of viscosity and additive increases in the instantaneous modulus for constructs cultured under hypoxic conditions and bFGF, when compared to constructs cultured under normoxic conditions. Overall, these results demonstrate that bFGF and hypoxia can significantly enhance the ability of meniscus cells to produce GAGs and improve the compressive properties of tissue-engineered meniscus constructs in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • bFGF
  • Hypoxia
  • Knee meniscus
  • PLLA
  • Synergy
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Additive and synergistic effects of bFGF and hypoxia on leporine meniscus cell-seeded PLLA scaffolds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this