Photoactivated Fixation of Cartilage Tissue
Sitterle, Valerie B.
MetadataShow full item record
Cartilage repair and/or replacement is necessary for many orthopaedic conditions including fissures from blunt trauma, autograft or allograft transplantation, and replacement of focal defects with biological or synthetic constructs. In cartilage repair, initial integration between the host tissue and repair site is desirable to allow for nutrient transport, molecular deposition to enhance fixation, and eventual stress transmission across the interface. It has been postulated that effective transport and crosslinking of newly synthesized collagen molecules across a repair site may be vital to the process of integrative repair, and recent experiments have correlated collagen deposition with the strength of such repair. Other investigations have shown that enzymatic degradation of the cartilage surface may enhance integrative repair and can increase bond strength of an adhesive to cartilage. This study explored a novel approach involving photochemical bonding of cartilage tissue samples through collagen crosslinking as a means to achieve rapid and effective initial fixation, with the goal of enhancing biological integration. Photosensitized collagen gels were first analyzed via FTIR to determine the crosslinking effects with respect to collagen type and photochemical mechanism. Using the photogellation FTIR results as a parametric guide, in vitro mechanical testing of photochemically bonded meniscal fibrocartilage and hyaline articular cartilage tissues was performed using a modified single-lap shear test. Finally, the cellular viability and bond stability of a photochemically bonded cartilage interface was evaluated over seven days of in vitro culture, where the bond strength was assessed by pushout of cores from annular defects. Results of this study have demonstrated the potential of combining enzymatic surface modification with photodynamic techniques to directly bond cartilage tissues for initial fixation.