Experimental study of three-dimensional tissue engineered auricular cartilage

Shinichi Terada, Shyh-Jou Shieh, Joseph P. Vacanti, Hiroaki Nakazawa, Motohiro Nozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to create human ear shaped-polymer scaffolds using chondrocytes and to subsequently compare specific biodegradable polymers for their efficacy in both long-term in vitro cultures and in vivo implantations. Polyvinyl alcohol clay was manually molded into an ear shaped template using dental impression material in order to produce negative-molds. Fibrous polyglycolic acid (PGA) scaffolds were then prepared using a fiber bonding technique combined with a poly L lactide solution. Microporous polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds were created by solvent casting and a particulate leaching technique with sieved sucrose and polycaprolactone solutions. Chondrocytes were isolated from sheep ears and grown in Ham's F12 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. Proliferating chondrocytes were seeded into the ear shaped polymer scaffolds and incubated in DMEM/F12 medium supplemented with TGF-β2 and des (1-3) IGF-I. Tissue engineered cartilage was implanted into athymic mice and analyzed for up to 10 months. Ear shaped cartilage formation was induced by both PGA and PCL scaffolds, but in 2 month old in vitro cultures, cartilage on the PGA scaffolds was slightly deformed whereas cartilage on PCL scaffolds had a well defined shape. In the in vivo implantations, cartilage on the PGA scaffolds was gradually absorbed, losing its original shape completely after 3 months. Cartilage on the PCL scaffolds, however, maintained its ear shape significantly after 10 months following implantation. Ear shaped microporous PCL scaffolds maintain significantly better three-dimensional morphologies than fibrous PGA in both long-term in vitro cultures and in vivo implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-982
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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