School of Engineering and Materials Science Publication:
"The potential of pulsed low intensity ultrasound to stimulate chondrocytes matrix synthesis in agarose and monolayer cultures."
Journal: Med Biol Eng Comput
Pulsed low intensity ultrasound (PLIUS) has been used successfully for bone fracture repair and has therefore been suggested for cartilage regeneration. However, previous in vitro studies with chondrocytes show conflicting results as to the effect of PLIUS on the elaboration of extracellular matrix. This study tests the hypothesis that PLIUS, applied for 20 min/day, stimulates the synthesis of sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) by adult bovine articular chondrocytes cultured in either monolayer or agarose constructs. For both culture models, PLIUS at either 30 or 100 mW/cm2 intensity had no net effect on the total sGAG content. Although PLIUS at 100 mW/cm2 did induce a 20% increase in sGAG content at day 2 of culture in agarose, this response was lost by day 5. Intensities of 200 and 300 mW/cm2 resulted in cell death probably due to heating from the ultrasound transducers. The lack of a sustained up-regulation of sGAG synthesis may reflect the suggestion that PLIUS only induces a stimulatory effect in the presence of a tissue injury response. These results suggest that PLIUS has a limited potential to provide an effective method of stimulating matrix production as part of a tissue engineering strategy for cartilage repair.