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    In order to enhance cartilage regeneration, surface modification of the cubic micro-cartilage with the collagenase treatment was tested and its efficacy to tissue engineer ear cartilage was investigated. Harvested cubic micro-cartilages were treated with collagenase with different digestion time (0, 15, 60, and 120 min). Histological, ultrastructural (SEM and TEM), and Western blot analyses were carried out. Subsequently, A total of 45 dogs were used to tissue engineer ear cartilage. Using collagenase-treated micro-cartilage, the ear cartilage regeneration with the prepared dilution (8, 12.5, 25, 50, 100%) of micro-cartilage block seeding was performed to determine the minimum amount of cartilage tissue required for ear tissue-engineering (n = 6 at each point in each group). At 10 weeks after surgery, samples were resected and subjected to histochemical and immune-histological evaluation for cartilage regeneration. In vitro study on micro-cartilage morphology and western blot analysis showed that collagenase digestion was optimal at 60 min for cartilage regeneration. In vivo evaluation on the reduced proportions of micro-cartilage block seeding onto implant scaffolds under 60-min collagenase digestion determined the minimum amount of cartilage tissue necessary to initiate a one-step ear cartilage regeneration in a canine autologous model, which was 12.5-25% of the original ear size. Tissue-engineering ear cartilage from limited volume of donor cartilage can possibly be achieved by the collagenase treatment on micro-cartilage to expand cartilage regeneration capacity, application of cytokine sustained-release system, and seeding on a suitable ear scaffold material. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Yu Sueyoshi, Atsuko Niwa, Yoshihito Itani, Makoto Yamauchi, Shinichi Asamura, Takeshi Teramura, Noritaka Isogai. Surface modification of the cubic micro-cartilage by collagenase treatment and its efficacy in cartilage regeneration for ear tissue engineering. International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology. 2022 Feb;153:111037

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    PMID: 34998203

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