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A multilayer tissue engineered meniscus substitute

Various methods have been tried to treat the main meniscus problem, meniscal tears, for which we believe tissue engineering could be a viable solution. In this study, a three dimensional, collagen-based meniscus substitute was prepared by tissue engineering using human fibrochondrocytes and a collagen based-scaffold. This construct was made with 3 different collagen-based foams interspaced with two electrospun nano/microfibrous mats. The top layer was made of collagen type I-chondroitin sulfate-hyaluronic acid (Coll-CS-HA), and the middle and the bottom layers were made of only collagen type I with different porosities and thus with different mechanical properties. The mats of aligned fibers were a blend of collagen type I and poly(l-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA). After seeding with human fibrochondrocytes, cell attachment, proliferation, and production of extracellular matrix and glucoseaminoglycan were studied. Cell seeding had a positive effect on the compressive properties of foams and the 3D construct. The 3D construct with all its 5 layers had better mechanical properties than the individual foams.