Clinically relevant cell sources for TMJ disc engineering

J Dent Res. 2008 Jun;87(6):548-52. doi: 10.1177/154405910808700609.


Tissue-engineering of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc aims to provide patients with TMJ disorders an option to replace diseased tissue with autologous, functional tissue. This study examined clinically relevant cell sources by comparing costal chondrocytes, dermal fibroblasts, a mixture of the two, and TMJ disc cells in a scaffoldless tissue-engineering approach. It was hypothesized that all constructs would produce matrix relevant to the TMJ disc, but the mixture constructs were expected to appear most like the TMJ disc constructs. Costal chondrocyte and mixture constructs were morphologically and biochemically superior to the TMJ disc and dermal fibroblast constructs, and their compressive properties were not significantly different. Costal chondrocyte constructs produced almost 40 times more collagen and 800 times more glycosaminoglycans than did TMJ constructs. This study demonstrates the ability of costal chondrocytes to produce extracellular matrix that may function in a TMJ disc replacement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Collagen Type I / biosynthesis
  • Collagen Type II / biosynthesis
  • Compressive Strength
  • Dental Stress Analysis
  • Elasticity
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Glycosaminoglycans / biosynthesis
  • Goats
  • Ribs / cytology
  • Skin / cytology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / cytology*
  • Tensile Strength
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type II
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Glycosaminoglycans