Modeling the dynamic composition of engineered cartilage

Christopher G. Wilson, Lawrence J. Bonassar, Sean S. Kohles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Mathematical models to describe extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and scaffold degradation in cell-polymer constructs for the design of engineered cartilage were developed and validated. The ECM deposition model characterized a product-inhibition mechanism in the concentration of cartilage molecules, collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAG). The scaffold degradation model used first-order kinetics to describe hydrolysis (not limited by diffusion) of biodegradable polyesters, polyglycolic acid and polylactic acid. Each model was fit to published accumulation and degradation data. As experimental validation, cell-polymer constructs (n = 24) and unseeded scaffolds (n = 24) were cultured in vitro. Biochemical assays for ECM content and measurements of scaffold mass were performed at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 weeks (n = 8 per time point). The models demonstrated a strong fit with published data and experimental results (R2 = 0.75 to 0.99) and predicted the temporal total construct mass with reasonable accuracy (30% RMS error). This approach can elucidate mechanisms governing accumulation/degradation and may be coupled with structure-function relationships to describe time-dependent changes in construct elastic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Biosynthesis
  • Cartilage
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Mathematical model
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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