• agarose;
  • foreign body response;
  • immunoglobulin;
  • complement;
  • non-absorbable hydrogel;
  • tissue-engineered cartilage


To disclose the influence of foreign body responses raised against a non-absorbable hydrogel consisting of tissue-engineered cartilage, we embedded human/canine chondrocytes within agarose and transplanted them into subcutaneous pockets in nude mice and donor beagles. One month after transplantation, cartilage formation was observed in the experiments using human chondrocytes in nude mice. No significant invasion of blood cells was noted in the areas where the cartilage was newly formed. Around the tissue-engineered cartilage, agarose fragments, a dense fibrous connective tissue and many macrophages were observed. On the other hand, no cartilage tissue was detected in the autologous transplantation of canine chondrocytes. Few surviving chondrocytes were observed in the agarose and no accumulation of blood cells was observed in the inner parts of the transplants. Localizations of IgG and complements were noted in areas of agarose, and also in the devitalized cells embedded within the agarose. Even if we had inhibited the proximity of the blood cells to the transplanted cells, the survival of the cells could not be secured. We suggest that these cytotoxic mechanisms seem to be associated not only with macrophages but also with soluble factors, including antibodies and complements. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.