An endochondral ossification approach to early-stage bone repair: Use of tissue-engineered hypertrophic cartilage constructs as primordial templates for weight-bearing bone repair.
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Mimicking endochondral ossification to engineer constructs offers a novel solution to overcoming the problems associated with poor vascularisation in bone repair. This can be achieved by harnessing the angiogenic potency of hypertrophic cartilage. In this study, we demonstrate that tissue-engineered hypertrophically-primed cartilage constructs can be developed from collagen-based scaffolds cultured with mesenchymal stem cells. These constructs were subsequently implanted into femoral defects in rats. It was evident that the constructs could support enhanced early-stage healing at 4 weeks of these weight-bearing femoral bone defects compared to untreated defects.