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research-article

Physiologic Medium Maintains the Homeostasis of Immature Bovine Articular Cartilage Explants in Long-Term Culture

[+] Author and Article Information
Krista Durney

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
kmdurney@gmail.com

Danial Sharifi Kia

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 110 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215
dskia@bu.edu

Tianbai Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 110 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215
wcarol@bu.edu

Akaljot Singh

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
singh2ao@mail.uc.edu

Lucie Karbowski

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
lucie.karbowski@gmail.com

Hyeon Jin Koo

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
hk2827@columbia.edu

Gerard A. Ateshian

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
ateshian@columbia.edu

Michael Albro

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 110 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215
albro@bu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041901 History: Received February 20, 2018; Revised October 18, 2018

Abstract

The ability to maintain living articular cartilage tissue in long-term culture can serve as a valuable analytical research tool, allowing for direct examination of mechanical or chemical perturbations on tissue behavior. A fundamental challenge for this technique is the recreation of the salient environmental conditions of the synovial joint in culture that are required to maintain native cartilage homeostasis. Interestingly, conventional media formulations used in explanted cartilage tissue culture investigations often consist of levels of metabolic mediators that deviate greatly from their concentrations in synovial fluid. Here, we hypothesize that the utilization of a culture medium consisting of near-physiologic levels of several highly influential metabolic mediators (glucose, amino acids, cortisol, insulin, and ascorbic acid) will maintain the homeostasis of cartilage explants as assessed by their mechanical properties and extracellular matrix contents. Results demonstrate that the aforementioned mediators have a strong effect on the mechanical and biochemical stability of skeletally immature bovine cartilage explants. Most notably, 1) in the absence of cortisol, explants exhibit extensive swelling and tissue softening and 2) in the presence of supraphysiologic levels of anabolic mediators (glucose, amino acids, insulin), explants exhibit increased matrix accumulation and tissue stiffening. In contrast, the administration of physiologic levels of these mediators (as present in native synovial fluid) greatly improves the stability of live cartilage explants over one month of culture. These results may have broad applicability for articular cartilage and other musculoskeletal tissue research, setting the foundation for important culture formulations required for examinations into tissue behavior.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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