• biomaterials;
  • bone;
  • cartilage;
  • temporomandibular joint;
  • tissue engineering


Authors –  Schek RM, Taboas JM, Hollister SJ, Krebsbach PH

Tissue engineering has provided an alternative to traditional strategies to repair and regenerate temporomandibular joints (TMJ). A successful strategy to engineer osteochondral tissue, such as that found in the TMJ, will produce tissue that is both biologically and mechanically functional. Image-based design (IBD) and solid free-form (SFF) fabrication can be used to generate scaffolds that are load bearing and match patient and defect site geometry. The objective of this study was to demonstrate how scaffold design, materials, and biological factors can be used in an integrated approach to regenerate a multi-tissue interface. IBD and SFF were first used to create biomimetic scaffolds with appropriate bulk geometry and microarchitecture. Biphasic composite scaffolds were then manufactured with the same techniques and used to simultaneously generate bone and cartilage in discrete regions and provide for the development of a stable interface between cartilage and subchondral bone. Poly-l-lactic acid/hydroxyapatite composite scaffolds were differentially seeded with fibroblasts transduced with an adenovirus expressing bone morphogenetic protein-7 in the ceramic phase and fully differentiated chondrocytes in the polymeric phase, and were subcutaneously implanted into mice. Following implantation in the ectopic site, the biphasic scaffolds promoted the simultaneous growth of bone, cartilage, and a mineralized interface tissue. Within the ceramic phase, the pockets of tissue generated included blood vessels, marrow stroma, and adipose tissue. This combination of IBD and SFF-fabricated biphasic scaffolds with gene and cell therapy is a promising approach to regenerate osteochondral defects and, ultimately, the TMJ.