Biomechanical Strategies for Articular Cartilage Regeneration

Eric M. Darling, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Two major contributions to the development of articular cartilage are growth factors and mechanical loading. Growth factors have long been used to modulate the secretion of certain molecules from different cells. The TGF-β superfamily, specifically the BMPs, CDMPs, OPs, and GDFs, have a dramatic effect on the development of bone and cartilage tissue. These growth factors help produce an extracellular matrix that can withstand extreme loading conditions in the body. In addition to growth factors, it is known that mechanical forces stimulate the synthesis of extracellular proteins in vitro and in vivo and can affect the tissue's overall structure. Load-bearing tissue, such as articular cartilage, will atrophy in the absence of mechanical forces, and this observation has caused researchers to incorporate mechanical stimulation into the tissue engineering process. This article focuses on the importance of mechanical forces in tissue engineering of articular cartilage and the growth factors that help stimulate the formation of load-bearing tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1124
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth factors
  • Mechanical forces
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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