Tissue Eng Regen Med.  2020 Jun;17(3):387-399. 10.1007/s13770-020-00261-9.

Evaluation of Collagen Gel-Associated Human Nasal Septum- Derived Chondrocytes As a Clinically Applicable Injectable Therapeutic Agent for Cartilage Repair

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Banpo-daero 222, Seocho-gu, Seoul 06591, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopedics, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, 271 Cheonbo-ro, Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi-do 11765, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Bucheon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 327 Sosa-ro, Bucheon-si, Seoul, Gyeonggi-do 14647, Republic of Korea


Articular cartilage injury has a poor repair ability and limited regeneration capacity with therapy based on articular chondrocytes (ACs) implantation. Here, we validated the hypothesis that human nasal septum-derived chondrocytes (hNCs) are potent therapeutic agents for clinical use in cartilage tissue engineering using an injectable hydrogel, type I collagen (COL1).
We manufactured hNCs incorporated in clinical-grade soluble COL1 and investigated their clinical potential as agents in an articular defect model.
The hNCs encapsulated in COL1 (hNC-collagen) were uniformly distributed throughout the collagen and showed much greater growth rate than hACs encapsulated in collagen for the 14 days of culture. Fluorescent staining of hNC-collagen showed high expression levels of chondrocyte-specific proteins under clinical conditions. Moreover, a negative mycoplasma screening result were obtained in culture of hNC-collagen. Notably, implantation of hNC-collagen increased the repair of osteochondral defects in rats compared with implantation of collagen only. Many human cells were detected within the cartilage defects.
These results provide reliable evidences supporting for clinical applications of hNC-collagen in regenerative medicine for cartilage repair.


Cartilage regeneration; Chondrocytes; Human nasal septum; Soluble type I collagen; Tissue engineering
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