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Usefulness of Polyglycolic Acid–Polypropylene Composite Scaffolds for Three-Dimensional Cartilage Regeneration in a Large-Animal Autograft Model

Enjo, Mitsuhiro M.D., Ph.D.; Terada, Shinichi M.D., Ph.D.; Uehara, Maki M.D., Ph.D.; Itani, Yoshihito M.D.; Isogai, Noritaka M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: March 2013 - Volume 131 - Issue 3 - p 335e–342e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31827c6dd8
Experimental: Original Articles

Background: Approaches to auricular reconstruction have shown improved outcome when a basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) slow-release system and fibrin spraying are combined with biodegradable polymers. More complex, three-dimensional structures, such as those that replicate the human auricle, are often lost because of biodegradation of the synthetic scaffold.

Methods: To improve the mechanical strength of regenerated cartilage, the authors grafted canine autologous chondrocytes after seeding onto scaffolds made of a complex of polyglycolic acid and polypropylene, incorporating a slow-release bFGF system with a fibrin spray coating.

Results: Five weeks after grafting, thicker cartilage with increased bending stress was obtained with the slow-release bFGF. In a three–polyglycolic acid–layer construct sandwiched around polypropylene, simulating a three-dimensional auricular structure, greater cartilage regeneration and angiogenesis were found around the implant. Sox5-positive cells were identified, indicative of maturation of neocartilage with chondroblast proliferation.

Conclusion: These results support the usefulness of combining absorbable and nonabsorbable materials (polyglycolic acid and polypropylene) in composite scaffolds for autologous cartilage regeneration in a large-animal autograft model.

Osaka-sayama, Osaka, Japan

From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine.

Received for publication July 19, 2012; accepted September 12, 2012.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. No external funding was received.

Noritaka Isogai, M.D., Ph.D.; Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kinki University School of Medicine, 377-2, Ohno-higashi, Osaka-sayama, Osaka 589-8511, Japan,

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons