Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Wen, Xuejun

Committee Member

Bateman , Ted

Committee Member

Wright , Gary


Over 16 million people suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). As the body ages OA and other cartilage diseases create an imbalance of anabolic and catabolic cell activities in cartilage and or over time the cartilage is damaged and wears away which creates lesion that resulting in pain. Most clinical surgeries are either temporary or have not gone through trials to test their success. For a long term solution researchers have been looking at replacing cartilage with a tissue engineered graft. One of the major problems to date has been is the strength of the scaffold.
Natural cartilage needs loading for its continued health. The forces transduce the external mechanical signals to cells and allow for better mass transfer of nutrients and wastes. By applying dynamic compression, we hope to mimic the natural force tissues experience such as the cyclic mechanical stress and fluid flow during the walking cycle. We found that compression increases the aggrecan content by 374.6% and has an increase of 14.1% in the aggrecan per cell ratio. It also enhanced the mechanical properties.
The LOX enzyme crosslinks collagen which creates a stabile environment for the surrounding tissue. In transfecting chondrogenic cells with LOX, we hoped to increase the mechanical properties of the scaffold, by creating these crosslinks. We showed that LOX gene transfection of the chondrocytes influences the aggrecan content by 166% and 115% per cell.
The examination of the effect of simultaneous application of dynamic compression and LOX transfection was the next logical step. LOX transfection and compression increased the aggrecan content by 43.9% more than compression alone and 156.2% more than LOX alone. When compared to control compression LOX compression has 125.2% more aggrecan per cell, and when compared to LOX static it has 19.2% more production.



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