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Decellularized scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) hold promise for repair and regeneration of the meniscus, given the potential for ECM-based biomaterials to aid in stem cell recruitment, infiltration, and differentiation. The objectives of this study were to decellularize canine menisci to fabricate a micronized, ECM-derived scaffold and to determine the cytocompatibility and repair potential of the scaffold ex vivo. Menisci were decellularized with a combination of physical agitation and chemical treatments. For scaffold fabrication, decellularized menisci were cryoground into a powder and the size and morphology of the ECM particles were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. Histologic and biochemical analyses of the scaffold confirmed effective decellularization with loss of proteoglycan from the tissue but no significant reduction in collagen content. When washed effectively, the decellularized scaffold was cytocompatible to meniscal fibrochondrocytes, synoviocytes, and whole meniscal tissue based on the resazurin reduction assay and histologic evaluation. In an ex vivo model for meniscal repair, radial tears were augmented with the scaffold delivered with platelet-rich plasma as a carrier, and compared to nonaugmented (standard-of-care) suture techniques. Histologically, there was no evidence of cellular migration or proliferation noted in any of the untreated or standard-of-care treatment groups after 40 days of culture. Conversely, cellular infiltration and proliferation were noted in scaffold-augmented repairs. These data suggest the potential for the scaffold to promote cellular survival, migration, and proliferation ex vivo. Further investigations are necessary to examine the potential for the scaffold to induce cellular differentiation and functional meniscal fibrochondrogenesis.
View details for DOI 10.1089/ten.tec.2016.0276
View details for Web of Science ID 000391500100001
View details for PubMedID 27824291