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Cell-based cartilage repair strategies such as matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) could be improved by enhancing cell performance. We hypothesised that micro-aggregates of chondrocytes generated in high-throughput prior to implantation in a defect could stimulate cartilaginous matrix deposition and remodelling. To address this issue, we designed a micro-mould to enable controlled high-throughput formation of micro-aggregates. Morphology, stability, gene expression profiles and chondrogenic potential of micro-aggregates of human and bovine chondrocytes were evaluated and compared to single-cells cultured in micro-wells and in 3D after encapsulation in Dextran-Tyramine (Dex-TA) hydrogels in vitro and in vivo. We successfully formed micro-aggregates of human and bovine chondrocytes with highly controlled size, stabi...
Comment: 5 figures. For more defined figures, please contact N. Mannella (nmannell@utk.edu). Version accepted for publication, with revised figures
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