Since the healing capacity of articular cartilage is limited, it is important to develop cell-based therapies for the repair of cartilage. Although synthetic or animal-derived scaffolds are frequently used for effective cell delivery long-term safety and efficiency of such scaffolds still remain unclear. We have been studying on a scaffold-free tissue engineered construct (TEC) bio-synthesized from synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) [1]. As the TEC specimen is composed of cells with their native extracellular matrix, we believe that it is free from concern regarding long term immunological effects. our previous studies indicated that a porcine partial thickness chondral defect was successfully repaired with TEC but that the compressive property of the TEC-treated cartilage-like repaired tissue was different from normal cartilage in both immature and mature animals. Imura et al. found that the permeability of the immature porcine cartilage-like tissues repaired with TEC recovered to normal level for 6 months except the superficial layer [2]. Therefore, the present study was performed to determine the depth-dependent permeability of mature porcine cartilage-like tissue repaired with TEC. Moreover, we investigated the effect of difference of permeability on the compressive property of articular cartilage using a finite element analysis (FEM).

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