Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering

Our laboratory focuses on the effects of biophysical and biochemical factors on chondrogenesis and the development of tissue-engineered cartilage and meniscus. Engineered musculoskeletal tissues can be used to restore cartilage function after traumatic cartilage injuries and may prevent diseases such as arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Our overall aim is to develop a transplantable biocomposite to restore function to cartilage of traumatized joints using tissue-engineering techniques. These techniques include the use of autologous adult stem cells, encapsulated drug delivery, biomaterial development and bioreactors.

Native CartilageNative Cartilage

Modulation of Tissue Development by Mechanical Loading

  • We designed a biaxial loading device for the investigation of the effects of dynamic biaxial mechanical loading (compressive and shear strain) on tissue-engineered cartilage. (Bilgen et al. 2012)

Biaxial Loading BioreactorBiaxial Loading Bioreactor

Stem Cell Chondrogenesis

  • We are working to optimize the chondrogenic ability of stem cells using co-cultures and growth factors. Synovial-derived stem cells could be a potential adult stem cell source for musculoskeletal tissue repair and regeneration. (Bilgen et al. 2009)

Synovial Membrane CellsSynovial Membrane CellsSynovial Derived Mesenchymal Stem CellsSynovial Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Decellularized Tissues as Scaffolds

  • Decellularization of cartilage is a potential alternative for chondral repair and regeneration. (Bautista et al. 2016)

Decellularized Cartilage, 40X: Safranin-ODecellularized Cartilage, 40X: Safranin-O   Chondrocytes on Decellularized MatrixChondrocytes on Decellularized Matrix

Characterization of Collagen Organization

  • We have developed quantitative methods that are necessary to analyze the collagen fiber orientation in cartilage (References).

Articular Cartilage TEM: Collagen Fibers in Transitional ZoneArticular Cartilage TEM: Collagen Fibers in Transitional ZoneArticular Cartilage TEM: Collagen Fibers in Deep ZoneArticular Cartilage TEM: Collagen Fibers in Deep Zone