Decellularized-disc based allograft and xenograft prosthesis for the long-term precise reconstruction of temporomandibular joint disc

Acta Biomater. 2023 Mar 15:159:173-187. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2023.01.042. Epub 2023 Jan 26.


Currently, no effective disc reconstruction treatment strategy is clinically available for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc-related diseases. To address this, we developed a prosthesis construct with laser-drilled decellularized natural disc reinforced by polycaprolactone, which mimics the natural morphology, and structural, biomechanical and biological property of the TMJ disc. The construct demonstrated good biocompatibility, safety and immunological tolerance both in vitro, and in a rat subcutaneous model. During 6 months implantation in an allogeneic rabbit TMJ disc reconstruction model, the disc prosthesis maintained its integrity, collagen fiber-orientation, mechanical property, joint structural stability and prevented articular cartilage and bone from damage. Furthermore, the "upgraded" disc prosthesis obtained from decellularized porcine disc was implanted into a goat TMJ disc reconstruction model. The xenograft prosthesis, with strength and viscoelasticity similar to a natural TMJ disc, was able to restore the structure and function of TMJ up to 20 weeks. These results demonstrate the translational feasibility of an allogeneic or xenogeneic decellularized disc prosthesis for treatment of advanced TMJ disc-related diseases. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: This study makes a significant contribution to TMJ disc disease treatment both in theory and in clinics, because: (1) it provided an innovative approach to prepare an artificial TMJ disc with decent mechanical properties and long-term condyle-protecting effect; (2) it specified an advanced decellularized method for fibrocartilage decellularization and xenograft application; (3) it developed a facile and reproducible TMJ disc reconstruction model not only for middle size animal but also for large animal study; (4) the comprehensive and unreported biomechanical tests on the natural TMJ discs would act as a valuable reference for further research in the field of artificial TMJ disc materials or TMJ disc tissue engineering; (5) it suggested a potential treatment for patients with severe TMJ diseases that were commonly met but difficult to treat in clinics.

Keywords: Articular disc; Bionic reconstruction; Decellularization; Temporomandibular joint; Xenotransplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allografts
  • Animals
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Swine
  • Temporomandibular Joint
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / surgery
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders*