Despite considerable documentation of the ability of normal bone to adapt to its mechanical environment, very little is known about the response of bone grafts or their substitutes to mechanical loading even though many bone defects are located in load-bearing sites. The goal of this research was to quantify the effects of controlled in vivo mechanical stimulation on the mineralization of a tissue-engineered bone replacement and identify the tissue level stresses and strains associated with the applied loading. A novel subcutaneous implant system was designed capable of intermittent cyclic compression of tissue-engineered constructs in vivo. Mesenchymal stem cell-seeded polymeric scaffolds with 8 weeks of in vitro preculture were placed within the loading system and implanted subcutaneously in male Fisher rats. Constructs were subjected to 2 weeks of loading (3 treatments per week for each, at ) and harvested after 6 weeks of in vivo growth for histological examination and quantification of mineral content. Mineralization significantly increased by approximately threefold in the loaded constructs. The finite element method was used to predict tissue level stresses and strains within the construct resulting from the applied in vivo load. The largest principal strains in the polymer were distributed about a modal value of with strains in the interstitial space being about five times greater. Von Mises stresses in the polymer were distributed about a modal value of , while stresses in the interstitial tissue were about three orders of magnitude smaller. This research demonstrates the ability of controlled in vivo mechanical stimulation to enhance mineralized matrix production on a polymeric scaffold seeded with osteogenic cells and suggests that interactions with the local mechanical environment should be considered in the design of constructs for functional bone repair.
Cyclic Mechanical Compression Increases Mineralization of Cell-Seeded Polymer Scaffolds In Vivo
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Duty, A. O., Oest, M. E., and Guldberg, R. E. (January 7, 2007). "Cyclic Mechanical Compression Increases Mineralization of Cell-Seeded Polymer Scaffolds In Vivo." ASME. J Biomech Eng. August 2007; 129(4): 531–539. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2746375
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