Katherine Hudson publishes an article in Tissue Engineering Part A.
Tissue engineered IVDs aim to address current surgical limitations by replacing the degenerated disc with a cell-laden scaffold that integrates into the disc space, in hope of restoring mechanical function. Many studies have shown that culture in low oxygen conditions (hypoxia) improves the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and maturation of IVD cells. In this study, we determined the effects of a low oxygen environment during cell expansion on tissue culture plastic prior to 3D culture on TE-IVDs made with human MSCs. Our results show expansion in hypoxia is just as important as hypoxia during 3D culture for the development of TE-IVDs. This approach represents a significant step towards efficient production of a clinically relevant TE-IVD replacement.