Tension-compression loading with chemical stimulation results in additive increases to functional properties of anatomic meniscal constructs

Daniel J. Huey, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

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42 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to improve the functional properties of anatomically-shaped meniscus constructs through simultaneous tension and compression mechanical stimulation in conjunction with chemical stimulation. Methods: Scaffoldless meniscal constructs were subjected to simultaneous tension and compressive stimulation and chemical stimulation. The temporal aspect of mechanical loadingwas studied by employing two separate five day stimulation periods. Chemical stimulation consisted of the application of a catabolic GAG-depleting enzyme, chondroitinase ABC (C-ABC), and an anabolic growth factor, TGF-β1. Mechanical and chemical stimulation combinations were studied through a full-factorial experimental design and assessed for histological, biochemical, and biomechanical properties following 4 wks of culture. Results: Mechanical loading applied from days 10-14 resulted in significant increases in compressive, tensile, and biochemical properties of meniscal constructs. When mechanical and chemical stimuliwere combined significant additive increases in collagen per wet weight (4-fold), compressive instantaneous (3-fold) and relaxation (2-fold) moduli, and tensile moduli in the circumferential (4-fold) and radial (6-fold) directions were obtained. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a stimulation regimen of simultaneous tension and compression mechanical stimulation, C-ABC, and TGF-β1 is able to create anatomic meniscus constructs replicating the compressive mechanical properties, and collagen and GAG content of native tissue. In addition, this study significantly advances meniscus tissue engineering by being the first to apply simultaneous tension and compression mechanical stimulation and observe enhancement of tensile and compressive properties following mechanical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27857
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 16 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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