• Autologous serum;
  • Chondrocytes;
  • Cartilage tissue engineering;
  • Proliferation;
  • Differentiation


To discuss the autologous serum production for cartilage tissue engineering, we compared three kinds of sera: whole blood-derived serum (WBS), platelet-containing plasma-derived serum (PCS), and plasma-derived serum (PDS), on the growth factor contents and their biological effects on human auricular chondrocytes. EGF, VEGF and PDGF levels were highest in WBS, while PCS and PDS followed WBS. The proliferation effects of WBS were the most pronounced, followed by that of PCS, both of which realized a 1000-fold-increase in chondrocyte numbers at the third passage, whereas PDS reached it after passage 4. No significant differences were observed in histology or cartilaginous matrix measurements of tissue-engineered cartilage produced from chondrocytes cultured under different serum conditions. WBS would be clinically useful because of its potent proliferation effects, while PCS, which possibly saves the red cell concentrate, may be an option in cases where there are elevated risks of blood loss.