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A Decellularized Meniscus Matrix Fibrous System for Meniscus Repair

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Document pages: 40 pages

Abstract: The meniscus plays a critical role in knee mechanical function but is commonly injured given its central load bearing role. In the adult, meniscus repair is limited, given the low number of endogenous cells, the density of the matrix, and the limited vascularity. Menisci are fibrocartilaginous tissues composed of a micro- nano- fibrous extracellular matrix (ECM) and a mixture of chondrocyte-like and fibroblast-like cells. Here, we developed a fibrous scaffold system that consists of bioactive components (decellularized meniscus ECM (dME) within a poly(e-caprolactone) material) fashioned into a biomimetic morphology (via electrospinning) to support and enhance meniscus cell function and matrix production. This work supports that the incorporation of dME into synthetic nanofibers increased hydrophilicity of the scaffold, leading to enhanced meniscus cell spreading, proliferation, and fibrochondrogenic gene expression. This work identifies a new biomimetic scaffold for therapeutic strategies to substitute or replace injured meniscus tissue.

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