Enzymes Can Accelerate the Remodeling Process of Bioengineered Cartilage Microtissues

A challenge in science has been the engineering of artificial articular cartilages that copy the structure and composition of natural tissues. This shortcoming has led to various approaches to the bioengineering of many tissues. Traditionally, a top-down artificial production method gives little solution to challenges by researchers. Interest in tissue engineering has shifted to scaffold-free approaches that try to copy the tissue development process. The scaffold-free technique aims to produce more artificial tissues that effectively mimic natural tissues. Scientists have developed some cartilaginous and fibrocartilaginous tissues but considerable challenges still exist in the field. These challenges are limiting the production of more natural-like tissues. Researchers in a novel study, show the advantages of a new model of producing tissues. They utilized a model involving the fusion of multiple cartilaginous tissues rather than the scaffold-free approach.

Knee Joint

Knee Joint

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Temporal enzyme treatment is beneficial for producing artificial biological tissues

The researchers aimed to produce a better natural-like artificial tissue. Using the fusion of multiple cartilage microtissues as their method, they show better advantages than other engineering methods. These benefits present as a richer extracellular matrix which made the bioengineered tissues more like natural tissue on the final graft. However, the researchers faced a challenge with the fusion method.

An impediment to their model was the failure of individual microtissues to remodel completely. To address this challenge, the scientists introduced an enzyme to accelerate the structural remodeling of artificial tissues. The enzyme chondroitinase ABC (cABC) provided this structural remodeling. Applied temporarily, cABC provided better fusion between the corresponding microtissues, enhanced remodeling, and developed more natural-like tissues. The enzyme also modulated the extracellular matrix composition.

The current research shows the enzymatic supported microtissue organization is a better method for developing engineered cartilage grafts. The study also demonstrates that science can solve the limitations of tissue engineering with temporal enzymatic treatment during tissue graft development. The engineering formats support robust cartilage formation.

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The cartilages produced with the enzymatic process show better properties and higher biosynthetic output at biological levels.

Clinical significance

Artificially developed tissues have lots of applications in medicine. However, the limitations of the engineering processes have hindered better microtissue models. The current study shows a better way of developing tissues with more natural properties. These findings can have a significant benefit in the science of tissue engineering and produce newer ways of managing tissue disorders. With a better natural-like property, there could be an easy replacement of damaged human tissues with artificially engineered models.


Scientists have faced various limitations in the process of developing artificial tissues. The present study shows the quality of engineered cartilage tissues using enzymes was more natural-like. This result is vital to revolutionize the science of bioengineering tissues. The researchers report there are reduced limitations to the enzyme approach. With better physiological properties of developed tissues, the research provides a new method in the science of artificial tissue production.

Read Also: Duke University Researchers Create a Gel That Could Replace the Cartilage in the Knees


Temporal enzymatic treatment to enhance the remodeling of multiple cartilage microtissues into a structurally organized tissue



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