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In silico evaluation of the mechanical stimulation effect on the regenerative rehabilitation for the articular cartilage local defects

Popov, Valentin L.; Poliakov, Aleksandr M.; Pakhaliuk, Vladimir I.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most severe diseases of the human musculoskeletal system, and therefore, for many years, special attention has been paid to the search for effective methods of its treatment. However, even the most modern methods only in a limited number of cases in the early or intermediate stages of osteoarthritis lead to positive treatment results. In the later stages of development, osteoarthritis is practically incurable and most often ends with disability or the need for joint replacement for a large number of people. One of the main reasons hindering the development of osteoarthritis treatment methods is the peculiarities of articular cartilage, in which there is practically no vascular network and tissue homeostasis is carried out mainly due to the diffusion of nutrients present in the synovial fluid. In modern medicine, for the treatment of osteoarthritis, tissue engineering strategies have been developed based on the implantation of scaffolds populated with chondrogenic cells into the area of the defect. In vitro studies have established that these cells are highly mechanosensitive and, under the influence of mechanical stimuli of a certain type and intensity, their ability to proliferate and chondrogenesis increases. This property can be used to improve the efficiency of regenerative rehabilitation technologies based on the synergistic combination of cellular technologies, tissue engineering strategies, and mechanical tissue stimulation. In this work, using a regenerative rehabilitation mathematical model of local articular cartilage defects, numerical experiments were performed, the results of which indicate that the micro-and macro environment of the restored tissue, which changes during mechanical stimulation, has a significant effect on the formation of the extracellular matrix, and, consequently, cartilage tissue generally. The results obtained can be used to plan strategies for mechanical stimulation, based on the analysis of the results of cell proliferation experimental assessment after each stimulation procedure in vivo.
Published in: Frontiers in Medicine, 10.3389/fmed.2023.1134786, Frontiers