The critical importance of mechanical signals to the health and maintenance of articular cartilage has been well demonstrated. Tissue engineers have taken a cue from normal cartilage physiology and incorporated the use of mechanical stimulation into their attempts to engineer functional cartilage. However, the specific types of mechanical stimulation that are most beneficial, and the mechanisms that allow a chondrocyte to perceive and respond to those forces, have yet to be elucidated. To develop a better understanding of these processes, it is necessary to examine the mechanical behavior of the single chondrocyte. This paper reviews salient topics related to chondrocyte biomechanics and mechanotransduction, and attempts to put this information into a context both appropriate and useful to cartilage tissue engineering. It also describes the directions this exciting field is taking, and lays out a vision for future studies that could have a significant impact on our understanding of cartilage health and disease.
- Functional tissue engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering