Objective: To construct self-assembly fibrocartilage model of goat temporomandibular joint disc and observe the biological characteristics of the self-assembled fibrocartilage constructs, further to provide a basis for tissue engineering of the temporomandibular joint disc and other fibrocartilage.
Methods: Cells from temporomandibular joint discs of goats were harvested and cultured. 5.5 x 10(6) cells were seeded in each agarose well with diameter 5 mm x depth 10 mm, daily replace of medium, cultured for 2 weeks.
Results: One day after seeding, goat temporomandibular joint disc cells in agarose wells were gathered and began to self-assemble into a disc-shaped base, then gradually turned into a round shape. When cultured for 2 weeks, hematoxylin-eosin staining was conducted and observed that cells were round and wrapped around by the matrix. Positive Safranin-O/fast green staining for glycosaminoglycans was observed throughout the entire constructs, and picro-sirius red staining was examined and distribution of numerous type I collagen was found. Immunohistochemistry staining demonstrated brown yellow particles in cytoplasm and around extracellular matrix, which showed self-assembly construct can produce type I collagen as native temporomandibular joint disc tissue.
Conclusion: Production of extracellular matrix in self-assembly construct as native temporomandibular joint disc tissue indicates that the use of agarose wells to construct engineered temporomandibular joint disc will be possible and practicable.