General Session: Innovative Technologies I - Hall F

Presented by: C. Eder


C. Eder(1), S. Schildböck(1), M. Ogon(1)

(1) Orthopädisches Spital Wien - Speising, Spine Centre, Wien, Austria


Introduction: Despite tremendous in vitro achievements, the clinical breakthrough towards intervertebral disc tissue engineering is still missing. The reasons for this are multiple: Current protocols are based on the isolation of nucleus pulposus cells from herniated IVD tissue. The subsequent in vitro expansion is time and cost consuming and no consensus on the optimal scaffold material has been reached. Adipose tissue contains stem cells capable of differentiating towards the chondrocytic lineage. As the adipose extracellular matrix consists of collagen and glycosaminoglycans, which are the Major components of the NPP extracellular matrix, decellularized adipose tissue might represent an ideal biomaterial eveolved by nature. As the combination af isolated stem cells and decellularized adipose tissue has been successfully evaluated fo tissue Engineering applications, aim of the presented study is to test the direct transdifferentiation of adipose tissue in tissue of a NPP phenotype.

Methods: Fat tissue biopsies from 10 patients harvested from surgical waste material were used with informed consent. One half of the tissue was placed in standard cell culture medium while the other half was placed in a commercially available chondrogenic differentiation medium. Tissue samples were incubated at 37 °C, 5% CO2 and 90% humidity for 3-6 weeks followed by histologic evaluation, durometry and quantification of collagen and glycosaminoglycan content.

Results: Chondrogenic transdifferentiated fat tissue demonstrated a smooth surface remodelling and a significant increase in tissue density. Durometric rigidity increased from Shore 0,25 (control) to 5 (p< 0,0001). Histology resembled the morphology of NPP tissue and demonstrated positive Alcian Blue and Safranin O staining. Average glycosaminoglycan content increased from 1,92 µg/mg tissue (controls) to 16,92 µg/mg (p< 0,0001) and total collagen content from 0,27 µg/mm (controls) to 8,76 µg/mm (p< 0,001).

Conclusion: Total adipose tissue can be successfully differentiated towards tissue of a NPP phenotype and shows a potential to create a fully autologous, scaffold free nucleus pulposus transplant.