A novel injectable approach for cartilage formation in vivo using PLG microspheres

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


This study documents the use of biodegradable poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) microspheres as a novel, injectable scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering. Chondrocytes were delivered via injection to the subcutaneous space of athymic mice in the presence and absence of PLG microspheres. Tissue formation was evaluated up to 8 weeks post-injection. Progressive cartilage formation was observed in samples containing microspheres. The presence of microspheres increased the quantity of tissue formed, the amount of glycosaminoglycan that accumulated, and the uniformity of type II collagen deposition. Microsphere composition influenced the growth of the tissue engineered cartilage. Higher molecular weight PLG resulted in a larger mass of cartilage formed and a higher content of proteoglycans. Microspheres comprised PLG with methyl ester end groups yielded increased tissue mass and matrix accumulation, but did not display homogenous matrix deposition. The microencapsulation of Mg(OH)2 had negative effects on tissue mass and matrix accumulation. Matrix accumulation, cell number, and tissue mass were unchanged by microsphere size, but larger microspheres increased the frequency of central necrosis in implants. The data herein reflect the promising utility of an injectable PLG-chondrocyte system for tissue engineering applications.

DOI of Published Version



Ann Biomed Eng. 2004 Mar;32(3):418-29.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of biomedical engineering

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID