Objective To investigate the histologic and biomechanical properties of rabbit tissue-engineered cartilage exposed to insulinlike growth factor 1 and transforming growth factor β.
Design Controlled study.
Subjects New Zealand white rabbits aged 3 to 4 weeks.
Intervention A mean of 3.42 million rabbit chondrocytes were placed onto 2 × 1-cm polyglycolic/poly-L-lactic acid mesh templates. One group (n = 21) was placed in complete medium for 4 days. The experimental group (n = 19) was placed into complete medium with insulinlike growth factor 1 (50 ng/mL) and transforming growth factor β (1 ng/mL). After 96 hours the templates were removed and implanted into the dorsum of the donor rabbit. The templates were harvested after 8 weeks and subjected to gross, histologic, and biomechanical testing.
Results All samples showed histologic characteristics consistent with normal cartilage. No statistically significant differences were found with biomechanical testing between the control and experimental groups.
Conclusion In spite of more promising results from earlier studies, these results do not support improved histologic features or mechanical performance with the addition of insulinlike growth factor 1 and transforming growth factor β to the chondrocyte/template complex.