Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, Biomedical Engineering and Health Science


Interdisciplinary Studies

Major Advisor

David Estrada, Ph.D.


Julie Oxford, Ph.D.


Amy Moll, Ph.D.


Knee osteoarthritis (knee OA) is the most common type of osteoarthritis (OA) and accounts for 70% of arthritis-related hospital admissions and 23% of clinical visits. Major limitations in both the current non-surgical and surgical methods are that they only relieve pain and show no evidence for restoring natural tissue anatomy. Leaders in the field propose that a stem cell treatment approach holds promise for the regeneration of a greater proportion of hyaline-like tissue at the repair site. (Cross et al., 2014; Escobar Ivirico, Bhattacharjee, Kuyinu, Nair, & Laurencin, 2017; Helmick et al., 2008; Toh, Foldager, Pei, & Hui, 2014).

It is hypothesized that the fate of cells to differentiate toward a specific lineage is governed by cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix interactions. (Djouad, Mrugala, Noël, & Jorgensen, 2006) It is necessary to continue the optimization of cell-based biomaterials for clinically relevant therapies. (Gupta PK & al, 2012).

To continue improving cell therapy options applicable to knee OA, decellularized cartilage from a porcine ear was used as the scaffold for the growth and differentiation of human cartilage cells. Decellularization techniques have been used to isolate an extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold from cells in culture, tissues, or organs. These previous methods served as the foundation for the similar procedures used in this study. Results presented by proteomic data showed that the methods used for decellularization were successful in the removal of cellular components including nuclei, mitochondria, cytosol, rough endoplasmic reticulum, plasma membrane, and Golgi biomarkers. Histology and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) show that decellularization resulted in creating a more porous scaffold. SEM also showed that cells adhered to the surface of this novel scaffold.