Dermis isolated adult stem cells for cartilage tissue engineering

Johannah Sanchez-Adams, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Adult stem cells from the dermal layer of skin are an attractive alternative to primary cells for meniscus engineering, as they may be easily obtained and used autologously. Recently, chondroinducible dermis cells from caprine skin have shown promising characteristics for cartilage tissue engineering. In this study, their multilineage differentiation capacity is determined, and methods of expanding and tissue engineering these cells are investigated. It was found that these cells could differentiate along adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages, allowing them to be termed dermis isolated adult stem cells (DIAS cells). Focusing on cartilage tissue engineering, it was found that passaging these cells in chondrogenic medium and forming them into self-assembled tissue engineered constructs caused upregulation of collagen type II and COMP gene expression. Further investigation showed that applying transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) or bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) to DIAS constructs caused increased sulfated glycosaminoglycan content. Additionally, TGF-β1 treatment caused significant increases in compressive properties and construct contraction. In contrast, BMP-2 treatment resulted in the largest constructs, but did not increase compressive properties. These results show that DIAS cells can be easily manipulated for cartilage tissue engineering strategies, and may also be a useful cell source for other mesenchymal tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Cartilage tissue engineering
  • Dermis
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Self assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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