Effects of initial cell seeding in self assembly of articular cartilage

Christopher M. Revell, Catherine E. Reynolds, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Current forays into tissue engineering of articular cartilage in vitro using the self-assembling method have produced constructs possessing significant extracellular matrix and resulting mechanical properties. However, large numbers of native articular chondrocytes are necessary to produce functional engineered cartilage; all previous work with the self-assembling process has used 5.5 × 106 cells/construct. In this study, the effects of initial cell seeding (0.25-11 × 106 cells/construct) on tissue quality were investigated. Results showed that tissue engineered articular cartilage was formed, when using at least 2 million cells/construct, possessing dimensional, compositional, and compressive properties approaching those of native tissue. It was noted that higher seeding contributed to thicker constructs with larger diameters and had a significant effect on resulting biochemical and biomechanical properties. It was further observed that aggregate modulus increased with increased seeding. By combining gross morphological, histological, biochemical, and biomechanical results, an optimal initial seeding for the self-assembling process of 3.75 × 106 cells/construct was identified. This finding enhances the translatability of this tissue engineering process by reducing the number of cells needed for tissue engineering of articular cartilage by 32% while maintaining essential tissue properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1448
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregate modulus
  • Biochemical functionality
  • Seeding density
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of initial cell seeding in self assembly of articular cartilage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this