Cartilage tissue engineering includes those laboratory processes that allow the expansion of cartilage for use in replacing damaged joint cartilage.


Techniques of cartilage tissue engineering

Techniques often involve the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) tissues in the laboratory by seeding cells into bioengineered scaffolds in the presence of biochemical and biomechanical stimuli. 


Signalling pathways

There are many factors in the 'normal' arthritic environment that combine to try to break down implanted cartilage, and today's bioengineer is adding various growth factors into the environment of the seeded scaffolds to try to diminish cartilage breakdown and enhance cartilage growth. Cells rely on signalling pathways within which they become activated and perform their task and then activate the next member of the pathway in turn.



An overview of current stem cell practice relating to the knee and a hint of the future.



Articular cartilage tissue engineering: the role of signaling molecules. Kwon H, Paschos NK, Hu JC and Athanasio K. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2016 Mar; 73(6): 1173–1194.

Strategic Design and Fabrication of Engineered Scaffolds for Articular Cartilage Repair. Izadifar Z, Chen X and Kulyk W. J Funct Biomater. 2012 Dec; 3(4): 799–838.

Hydrogels as a Replacement Material for Damaged Articular Hyaline Cartilage. Beddoes CM, Whitehouse MR, Briscoe WH and Su B. Materials (Basel). 2016 Jun; 9(6): 443.

See also -


eBook - The Magic of Fat Cells

A discussion by Professor Paul Lee about the changes one sees in osteoarthritis of the knee, and the role of regenerative medicine and surgery in improving the status of the joint cartilage in an effort to delay, or even prevent, knee replacement.