Since the healing capacity of articular cartilage is limited, it is important to develop cell-based therapies for the repair of cartilage. Although synthetic or animal-derived scaffolds are frequently used for effective cell delivery long-term safety and efficiency of such scaffolds still remain unclear. We have been developing a new tissue engineering technique for cartilage repair using a scaffold-free tissue engineered construct (TEC) bio-synthesized from synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) [1]. As the TEC specimen is composed of cells with their native extracellular matrix, we believe that it is free from concern regarding long term immunological effects. Fujie et al. found in a micro indentation test using an atomic force microscope (AFM) that the immature porcine cartilage-like tissue repaired with TEC exhibited lower stiffness as compared with normal cartilage in immature porcine femur [2], although the macro-scale stiffness of the repaired tissue was almost same as that of the normal cartilage [3]. In the present study, we investigated the macro and micro-compressive properties of mature porcine cartilage-like tissue repaired with TEC.

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