Successful creation of cartilaginous engineered tissues is often limited by insufficient cellular proliferation and formation of extracellular matrix. Stress conditioning protocols using heat have been shown to induce up-regulation of molecular chaperones called heat shock proteins (HSP) [1]. These proteins have been linked to enhanced cell proliferation and collagen synthesis which is critical for formation of the extracellular matrix. Therefore, identification of effective thermal stress preconditioning protocols that enhance HSP expression could substantially advance development of replacement tissues for cartilaginous tissues [2]. Our project focused on identifying thermal preconditioning protocols that enhance HSP70 expression while minimizing cellular injury for ultimate use in improving cell proliferation and extracellular matrix formation for cartilage.

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