Interactions of meniscal cells with extracellular matrix molecules: Towards the generation of tissue engineered menisci

Guak Kim Tan, Justin J. Cooper-White

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Menisci are one of the most commonly injured parts of the knee. Conventional surgical interventions are often associated with a long-term increased risk of osteoarthritis. Meniscal tissue engineering utilizes natural or synthetic matrices as a scaffold to guide tissue repair or regeneration in three dimensions. Studies have shown that a diverse cellular response can be triggered depending on the composition of the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) components. As such, attempts have been made to replace or repair meniscus defects using tissue grafts or reconstituted ECM components prepared from a multitude of tissues. This commentary summarizes the most recent data on the response of meniscal cells to ECM components, both in vivo and in vitro, and focuses on their potential roles in meniscal repair and regeneration. We also discuss our recent investigations into the interactions of meniscal cells and a self-assembled biomimetic surface composed of meniscal ECM molecules. The biological effects conferred by the biomimetic surface, in terms of cell adhesion, proliferation, gene expression profiles and matrix synthesis, were evaluated. Finally, some suggested directions for future research in this field are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalCell Adhesion and Migration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell-matrix interactions
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Collagen
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Meniscus
  • Tissue engineering

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