the Tissue Engineering Laboratory, we
study the relationships between bioreactor environment
and properties of engineered cartilage.
these relationships will provide a basis for future approaches to
the large-scale production of tissue
deals with fabricating functional tissue
from living cells. Cells are seeded in a bio-resorbable
matrix to guide tissue development in a 3-dimensional way. The
cell-matrix system is cultured for a period of time inside a bioreactor
or culture vessel. Ulltimately, the new tissue is implanted into
tissue can be used in patients who are in need of transplantation,
eliminating problems such as shortage
of donors and immune rejection.
tissue types are in the process of
being engineered around the world. Some examples: pancreas, liver,
skin, nerves, cornea, breast, bone, blood, muscle, cartilage and
blood vessels. There is still a lot to learn about how to optimize
the tissue product.
than one million patients every year
suffer from some form of cartilage damage in the United States.
Most of this cartilage damage occurs at the knee.
Articular cartilage has a very limited self-repair
engineering of cartilage includes
the isolation of young chondrocytes
(cartilage cells), seeding on a bio-resorbable porous scaffold,
and culturing on a bioreactor under
the appropriate conditions. So far, none of the engineered cartilages
produced around the world can guarantee to match the performance
of natural articular cartilage.
BERL, the relationships between the
environment provided by bioreactors
and the characteristics of the final cartilage
product are being studied. Novel bioreactors
and culture approaches are being used in an effort to improve
the properties of engineered cartilage.