Effects of initial cell seeding density for the tissue engineering of the temporomandibular joint disc

Alejandro J. Almarza, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Tissue engineering may provide a better treatment modality for postoperative discectomy patients. The TMJ disc is an ideal candidate for tissue engineering approaches because of its lack of an intrinsic regenerative ability. Unfortunately, basic knowledge related to TMJ disc tissue engineering is still at an infancy level and not on par to that related to articular cartilage tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of initial cell density of TMJ disc cells seeded in nonwoven poly-glycolic acid (PGA) scaffolds on the biochemical and biomechanical properties of constructs examined at 0, 3, and 6 weeks after seeding. Low, medium, and high seeding densities were chosen to be 15, 30, and 120 million cells per ml of scaffold, which were seeded using a spinner flask. Significant differences were found temporally and as a function of seeding density in morphology, total collagen, GAG content, and permeability of the constructs, but not in aggregate modulus. The high seeding density group outperformed the low and medium groups in collagen and GAG content at all time points measured. The high-density group produced a total of 55.37 ± 3.56 μg of collagen per construct, maintained 15.77 ± 1.86 μg of GAG per construct, and only shrunk to 50% of the original scaffold size. Permeability of the constructs at 6 weeks was decreased by 70% compared to 0 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-950
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemistry
  • Cell seeding density
  • TMJ disc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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