Fibrocartilage is found in the knee meniscus, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc, the pubic symphysis, the annulus fibrosus of intervertebral disc, tendons, and ligaments. These tissues are notoriously difficult to repair due to their avascularity, and limited clinical repair and replacement options exist. Tissue engineering has been proposed as a route to repair and replace fibrocartilages. Using the knee meniscus and TMJ disc as examples, this review describes how fibrocartilages can be engineered toward translation to clinical use. Presented are fibrocartilage anatomy, function, epidemiology, pathology, and current clinical treatments because they inform design criteria for tissue engineered fibrocartilages. Methods for how native tissues are characterized histomorphologically, biochemically, and mechanically to set gold standards are described. Then provided is a review of fibrocartilage-specific tissue engineering strategies, including the selection of cell sources, scaffold or scaffold-free methods, and biochemical and mechanical stimuli. In closing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paradigm is discussed to inform researchers of both the guidance that exists and the questions that remain to be answered with regard to bringing a tissue engineered fibrocartilage product to the clinic.
Considerations for Translation of Tissue Engineered Fibrocartilage From Bench to Bedside
Manuscript received June 28, 2018; final manuscript received November 27, 2018; published online May 23, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Beth A. Winkelstein.
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Donahue, R. P., Gonzalez-Leon, E. A., Hu, J. C., and Athanasiou, K. A. (May 23, 2019). "Considerations for Translation of Tissue Engineered Fibrocartilage From Bench to Bedside." ASME. J Biomech Eng. July 2019; 141(7): 070802. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4042201
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