The development of a serum-free medium utilizing the interaction between growth factors and biomaterials
To promote clinical application of cartilage tissue engineering, we should establish a serum-free chondrocyte growth medium. The serum-free medium would increase the cell numbers by more than 20-fold within one week, which proliferation ability almost matches that of serum-based one. For that, we examined the combinations of growth factors and the methods to enhance their effects by making use of the interaction with biomaterials. From various growth factors that are contained within the serum, we made the cocktail of FGF-2 (100 ng/mL), insulin (5 μg/mL), EGF (10 pg/mL), PDGF (625 pg/mL) and TGF-β (5 pg/mL), which increased the chondrocyte numbers by approximately 3-fold for 7 days. Moreover, we used the biomaterials including albumin and hyaluronan as the carrier of those factors. By direct mixing of those factors with biomaterials before the administration to the medium, the medium containing those mixture showed the chondrocyte growth of approximately a 25-fold increase by day 10. In this medium, the FGF-2 or insulin concentration hardly decreased, and rather enhanced the activation of ERK. Due to the optimal usage of biomaterials, this serum-free medium will realize a constant harvest of chondrocytes and could contribute to the safety and quality in regenerative medicine.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 2, January 2012, Pages 444–454