Fabrication and Repair of Cartilage Defects with a Novel Acellular Cartilage Matrix Scaffold

Z.Q. Yang, Y.Y. Shi, X.C. Wei, J.R. He, S.H. Yang, Glenn Dickson, J.Q. Tang, J.J. Xiang, C. Song, G. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were to develop a three-dimensional acellular cartilage matrix (ACM) and investigate its possibility for use as a scaffold in cartilage tissue engineering. Bovine articular cartilage was decellularized sequentially with trypsin, nuclease solution, hypotonic buffer, and Triton x 100 solution; molded with freeze-drying process; and cross-linked by ultraviolet irradiation. Histological and biochemical analysis showed that the ACM was devoid of cells and still maintained the collagen and glycosaminoglycan components of cartilage. Scanning electronic microscopy and mercury intrusion porosimetry showed that the ACM had a sponge-like structure of high porosity. The ACM scaffold had good biocompatibility with cultured rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells with no indication of cytotoxicity both in contact and in extraction assays. The cartilage defects repair in rabbit knees with the mesenchymal stem cell-ACM constructs had a significant improvement of histological scores when compared to the control groups at 6 and 12 weeks. In summary, the ACM possessed the characteristics that afford it as a potential scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-876
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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