Seeding techniques and scaffolding choice for tissue engineering of the temporomandibular joint disk

Alejandro J. Almarza, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disk removal, or diskectomy, is a detrimental yet necessary surgery for patients with extremely displaced disks. Tissue engineering is an enticing methodology for improvement of the postoperative outcome of diskectomy. Unfortunately, the field of tissue engineering of the TMJ disk is only in the early stages of development. The initial objective of this investigation was to study the cellular response of TMJ disk cells in alginate culture. However, a marked decrease in cell population and the lack of detection of extracellular matrix (ECM) products did not support the use of alginate culture. The second objective was then to attempt TMJ disk cell culture in polyglycolic acid (PGA) nonwoven meshes. However, as suitable seeding methods for TMJ disk cells on PGA had not been determined, three techniques were selected for study: spinner flask, orbital shaker, and a novel pelleting technique. PGA constructs maintained cellularity throughout the culture period, and scaffolds seeded with the spinner flask produced about 35 μg of collagen per construct. Thus, as evidenced by the production of a major extracellular component, PGA nonwoven meshes seeded with TMJ disk cells, using a spinner flask, may be a first positive culturing step in tissue engineering the TMJ disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1787-1795
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Biotechnology


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