Tissue engineering a human phalanx

W. J. Landis, S. Chubinskaya, T. Tokui, Y. Wada, N. Isogai, R. Jacquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A principal purpose of tissue engineering is the augmentation, repair or replacement of diseased or injured human tissue. This study was undertaken to determine whether human biopsies as a cell source could be utilized for successful engineering of human phalanges consisting of both bone and cartilage. This paper reports the use of cadaveric human chondrocytes and periosteum as a model for the development of phalanx constructs. Two factors, osteogenic protein-1 [OP-1/bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP7)], alone or combined with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), were examined for their potential enhancement of chondrocytes and their secreted extracellular matrices. Design of the study included culture of chondrocytes and periosteum on biodegradable polyglycolic acid (PGA) and poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA)–poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) scaffolds and subsequent implantation in athymic nu/nu (nude) mice for 5, 20, 40 and 60 weeks. Engineered constructs retrieved from mice were characterized with regard to genotype and phenotype as a function of developmental (implantation) time. Assessments included gross observation, X-ray radiography or microcomputed tomography, histology and gene expression. The resulting data showed that human cell-scaffold constructs could be successfully developed over 60 weeks, despite variability in donor age. Cartilage formation of the distal phalanx models enhanced with both OP-1 and IGF-1 yielded more cells and extracellular matrix (collagen and proteoglycans) than control chondrocytes without added factors. Summary data demonstrated that human distal phalanx models utilizing cadaveric chondrocytes and periosteum were successfully fabricated and OP-1 and OP-1/IGF-1 accelerated construct development and mineralization. The results suggest that similar engineering and transplantation of human autologous tissues in patients are clinically feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2373-2387
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • articular cartilage
  • bone development
  • growth factors
  • periosteum
  • regeneration
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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