The patent's inventors are Athanasiou, Kyriacos A. (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Tissue engineering is an area of intense effort today in the field of biomedical sciences. The development of methods of tissue engineering and replacement is of particular importance in tissues that are unable to heal or repair themselves, such as articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is a unique avascular, aneural and alymphatic load-bearing live tissue, which is supported by the underlying subchondral bone plate. Articular cartilage damage is common and does not normally self-repair. Challenges related to the cellular component of an engineered tissue include cell sourcing, as well as expansion and differentiation. Findings of recent well-designed studies suggest that autologous chondrocyte implantation is the most efficacious technique for repairing symptomatic full-thickness hyaline articular cartilage defects, which engender a demand for cell-based strategies for cartilage repair. Further studies have also attempted to engineer cartilage via the combination of biodegradable or biocompatible scaffolds with differentiated chondrocytes. According to these studies, it is unlikely that a sufficient supply of differentiated chondrocytes will be available for clinical applications.
"Numerous studies have focused on cell sources from tissues other than cartilage for cartilage tissue engineering. Embryonic stem (ES) cells represent a valuable source for this purpose. The application of ES cells in this area, however, is still limited particularly because of ethical considerations. A number of researchers have investigated various adult tissues including bone marrow, muscle, and adipose tissue as alternative cell sources for cartilage tissue engineering. However, autologous procurement of these tissues has potential limitations.
"Skin is the largest organ in the body and is relatively easily accessible with minimal insult to the donor. The skin dermis is considered, therefore, one of the best autologous source organs to isolate stem/progenitor cells for future therapeutic applications not only in the replacement of skin, but also as an alternative cell source for several other organs outside of skin. Recently accumulating evidence indicates that skin dermis contains cells that can generate multiple lineages including neurons, glia, smooth muscle cells and adipocytes. Thus, cells from the skin dermis may prove to be a useful alternative cell source for articular cartilage tissue engineering. There is increasing evidence which suggests that human dermal fibroblasts cultured with demineralized bone powder acquire a chondroblast phenotype and express cartilage-specific matrix proteins. However, evidence shows that there are several types of fibroblasts in the skin dermis with different functions, which suggests the limitation of these cells. Although the existence of chondrogenic precursor cells in skin dermis has long been postulated, thus far it has been impossible to induce these heterogeneous cells to differentiate into chondrocytes exclusively, either in vivo or in vitro.
"Previous studies using dermal fibroblasts showed that demineralized bone powder could induce the formation of colonies exhibiting a chondrocytic phenotype. However, no further evidence exists to show whether these chondroinduced cells can be considered to originate from stem cells, fully mature fibroblasts, or a dermal subpopulation of cells with latent chondrogenic potential. Although a number of researchers have investigated techniques to isolate subpopulations from the dermis for different purposes, none of these subpopulations has been isolated specifically for cartilage regeneration. Thus, there is an absence of well defined and efficient protocols for the selective isolation and proliferation of dermis-derived cells, followed by directing their differentiation into the chondrogenic lineage in vitro."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present disclosure, according to certain example embodiments, is generally in the field of improved methods for tissue engineering. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to methods for inducing differentiation of dermis-derived cells to serve as a source of chondrocytes and associated methods of use in the formation tissue engineered constructs. As used herein, a 'construct' or 'tissue engineered construct' refers to a three-dimensional mass having length, width, and thickness, and which comprises living mammalian tissue produced in vitro.
"In certain embodiments, the present disclosure provides a modified rapid adhering process that involves purifying dermis-isolated, aggrecan sensitive (DIAS) cells for chondrogenic differentiation and allowing differentiated cells to self-assemble into a tissue engineering construct. Dermis derived cells are attractive since they provide autologous cells without causing complications at the donor site, due to the high regenerative capacity of skin. These cells can also be harvested with a low degree of invasiveness. The methods of the present disclosure are advantageous in preparing autologous cells to be transplanted to any patient for whom repair of damaged tissues by regeneration therapy will be needed. With regard to the availability of DIAS cells for clinical use, DIAS cells can be obtained with a low degree of invasiveness and without causing complications at the donor site due, to their high regenerative capacity. Thus, the methods of the present disclosure also provide therapeutic strategy that uses the self-assembly of chondroinduced DIAS cells to produce tissue in vitro for use as an autologous transplant in vivo.
"Tissue engineered constructs formed by DIAS cells may exhibit cartilage specific ECM components throughout, while constructs formed using other dermis derived subpopulations often result in heterogeneous matrices. Thus, the methods of the present disclosure provide substantially homogeneous tissue engineered constructs. The methods of the present disclosure may reduce the likelihood of heterogeneous cell subpopulations spontaneously differentiating into divergent lineages and, in the case of fibroblasts, decreases the risk of fibrochondrocytic formation."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Athanasiou, Kyriacos A.; Deng, Ying; Hu, Jerry. Dermis-Derived Cells for Tissue Engineering Applications. U.S. Patent Number 8637065, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Engineering, Fibroblasts, Chondrocytes,
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