Cartilage tissue repair

We are proud to report that LifeTec Group’s Osteochondral platform has once again contributed to a research paper. This time the research aimed to demonstrate the potential of a hydrogel for cartilage repair. As part of the H2020BIOGEL project, Evgenia Tsanaktsidou from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece, was conducting research on hydrogels that are especially functionalized to form ECMs for the regeneration of cartilage tissue. Working in the group of prof. Kiparissides on the development of these cell-laden hydrogels, Evgenia could conduct cell culture studies to investigate the behavior of cells that were embedded in such a hydrogel-based environment. But to investigate if this could actually be used to repair defects in cartilage tissue, a more complex and representative environment was needed. And this is where the OsteoChondral platform provided possibilities.

webimage biogel paper

Providing an opportunity

LifeTec Group was a partner in the BIOGEL project, developing realistic environments that could be used to study functionalized hydrogel-based biomedical applications. And so an internship assignment provided the opportunity for Evgenia to come to our lab for her research project. She was trained on the use of the Osteochondral platform for tissue culturing experiments, as well as on the harvesting of cartilage covered bone plugs from knee joints obtained at a local slaughterhouse. From there on, she learned to create defects in the cartilage tissue that she could fill the with the cell-laden hydrogel. Subsequently, she studied how these tissues would develop in the Osteochondral platform hoping to see that new cells would form from the hydrogel to repair the defect.

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The results

Cartilage regeneration is a highly interesting topic for medical professionals, but also you and me, as many people run into joint problems at some point during their life. The tissue itself hardly regrows and therefore much effort is put into finding solutions to stimulate the cartilage cells (chondrocytes) to form their natural surrounding tissue (extracellular matrix: ECM).

In this study, the tissue with the hydrogel filled defect was cultured to study the regeneration of the created defect. After culture of up to two weeks, histological analysis showed the significant increase in chondrocyte cells in the defect (H&E staining) and deposition of the cartilage typical ECM component glycosaminoglycan (Safranin-0 staining). The results show that the cell filled hydrogel is a promising option for embedding chondrocytes into an artificial ECM for stimulating the repair of damaged cartilage tissue.

webimage histology

What's in it for you?

The research studies presented in this paper is a typical example of collaborations in which LifeTec Group loves to engage. We have a whealth of experience in creating complex but relevant environments in which biomedical applications can be investigated. If you are working on medical devices, tissue regeneration or pharmacological therapies, a collaboration project with our team allows you to fully focus on the device or therapy development and LifeTec Group will act as an extension to your team to focus on the environment that allows us to demonstrate together if the device or therapy is promising. And together we can speed up the process: by applying realistic tissue environments, we can learn a lot in relatively short time before needing to proceed to the necessary but ethically burdened animal tests that will deliver the "Go" for human trials.

If you're interested to learn how LifeTec Group can support your project, then feel free to review our platforms and services, example cases and contributions to scientific publications that you will find on our website, and please reach out to our team for more information and backgrounds.

webimage osteochondral

The published article:

We are very happy that were able to contribute to further prove the potential of this biomaterial for the important application of cartilage repair. You can read all about the details of this study in the open-source publication here:


Biomimetic Cell-Laden MeHA Hydrogels for the Regeneration of Cartilage Tissue

Evgenia Tsanaktsidou, Olga Kammona, Norina Labude, Sabine Neuss, Melanie Krüger, Linda Kock and Costas Kiparissides

Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1598

The project leading to this publication has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 642687.


Colofon Biogel
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Linda Kock

Linda Kock

Head of Business Operations