Modular lattice constructs for biological joint resurfacing

Gelse K, Biggemann J, Stumpf M, Halmheu M, Grüneboom A, Scholtysek C, Pachowsky M, Kleyer A, Hueber A, Krönke G, Fey T (2019)

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2019


DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2018.0231


Problem: The generation of tissue-engineered cartilage constructs has made great progress over the last decades, however, the fixation of the grafts to the subchondral bone plate is still an unresolved problem. The aim of this study was to investigate a modular lattice concept as an anchoring basis for biological joint resurfacing that is stably fixed to subchondral bone, versatile for any surface shape, and permissive for cellular repopulation. Methods: Ceramic building blocks (hydroxyapatite, β-tricalcium phosphate, biphasic calcium phosphate, alumina and bioactive glass) including anchoring pins were fabricated by transfer injection molding technique. The cellular repopulation of the building blocks and cellular differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSC) was analysed under the influence of platelet-rich plasma, transforming growth factor-β and bone morphogenetic protein-2. A lattice construct of anchoring pins fixed to subchondral bone specimen and interposed hBMSC within collagen-hydrogel were cultured under dynamic conditions in spinner flasks for 4 weeks. The 3D constructs were analyzed by high-resolution micro computertomography (µCT), light-sheet fluorescence microscopy and histology. Pin fixation was analysed by pull-out tests. Results: Building Block-modules of complex shape with anchoring pins can be individually arranged to the subchondral bone by simple press-fit principle. Pull-out tensile stress exceeded 6 MPa. Human BMSCs required stimulation by TGF-β or BMP-2 to undergo chondrogenic differentiation. Dynamic culturinges of 3-dimensional explant constructscultures demonstrated the stability of the modular lattice construct and the interposed cell-loaded hydrogel remained within the lattice elements. hBMSCs within the collagen hydrogel underwent chondrogenic differentiation and formed a matrix that merged with the lattice structure of building blocks. Conclusions: The current work presents a proof-of-principle concept for a lattice structure that provides the stable mechanical bonding and biological milieu for the bone-cartilage interface. The anchoring elements represent an integral part of the lattice structure and provide the basis for future biological joint resurfacing by multilayer constructs. 

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Gelse, K., Biggemann, J., Stumpf, M., Halmheu, M., Grüneboom, A., Scholtysek, C.,... Fey, T. (2019). Modular lattice constructs for biological joint resurfacing. Tissue Engineering: Parts A, B, and C.


Gelse, Kolja, et al. "Modular lattice constructs for biological joint resurfacing." Tissue Engineering: Parts A, B, and C (2019).

BibTeX: Download