共同研究をしている 近藤誠先生（University of Utah）の論文です。
“Safety and efficacy of human juvenile chondrocyte-derived cell sheets for osteochondral defect treatment”
KONDO Makoto†*, KAMEISHI Sumako, Kyungsook KIM, Nicolas F. METZLER, Travis G. MAAK, Douglas T. HUTCHINSON, Angela A. WANG, MAEHARA Miki, SATO Masato, David W. GRAINGER, OKANO Teruo*
npj regenerative medicine, 6(1), 65(2021)
Knee cartilage does not regenerate spontaneously after injury, and a gold standard regenerative treatment algorithm has not been established. This study demonstrates preclinical safety and efficacy of scaffold-free, human juvenile cartilage-derived-chondrocyte (JCC) sheets produced from routine surgical discards using thermo-responsive cultureware. JCCs exhibit stable and high growth potential in vitro over passage 10, supporting possibilities for scale-up to mass production for commercialization. JCC sheets contain highly viable, densely packed cells, show no anchorage-independent cell growth, express mesenchymal surface markers, and lack MHC II expression. In nude rat focal osteochondral defect models, stable neocartilage formation was observed at 4 weeks by JCC sheet transplantation without abnormal tissue growth over 24 weeks in contrast to the nontreatment group showing no spontaneous cartilage repair. Regenerated cartilage was safranin-O positive, contained type II collagen, aggrecan, and human vimentin, and lacked type I collagen, indicating that the hyaline-like neocartilage formed originates from transplanted JCC sheets rather than host-derived cells. This study demonstrates the safety of JCC sheets and stable hyaline cartilage formation with engineered JCC sheets utilizing a sustainable tissue supply. Cost-benefit and scaling issues for sheet fabrication and use support feasibility of this JCC sheet strategy in clinical cartilage repair.