Archives—February 2010

Biologically Inspired Tissue-Engineered Bone and Cartilage Substitutes: A Next Generation Treatment for Musculoskeletal Injuries and Diseases

Wednesday, February 24
G06 Rekhi Hall
3:00 pm

Presenter: Lijie Zhang, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women Hospital, Department ofMedicineHarvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

Abstract: Various bone and articular cartilage defects, caused by trauma, disease or age-related degeneration, representa crucial clinical problem all over the world. However, traditional implant treatments may cause manycomplications after surgeries, leading to intense patient pain. Thus, our research aims to create biologicallyinspired tissue-engineered bone, cartilage and osteochondral substitutes via state-of-the-art nanotechnologyand biotechnology for replacing damaged or diseased musculoskeletal tissues and recovering theirfunctionality.For this purpose, we have designed a series of nanostructured scaffolds with excellent cytocompatibility andmechanical properties based on biomimetic nanoceramic particles, rosette nanotubes (a novel biologicallyinspired nanotube obtained through the self-assembly of DNA base pairs in water), collagen and hydrogels.Different cell types including osteoblast (bone forming cell), endothelial cell, mesenchymal stem cell andfibroblast responses towards these nanocomposites were investigated. Our results demonstrated that thesebiomimetic nanocomposites with controllable surface chemistry can significantly enhance bone cellfunctions and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells, thus making them promising for furtherstudy in bone tissue engineering and orthopedic applications. Furthermore, I will also introduce our work incartilage tissue engineering. Through a novel self-assembling tissue engineering method, a cartilageconstruct was grown from chondrocytes and the mechanical, optical properties and extracellular matrixdistribution of these constructs were measured over times. In summary, the results of our study indicate theimportance of tissue-engineered bone and cartilage substitutes for improving current therapies ofmusculoskeletal disorders and diseases.