A self-assembling process has recently been developed that produces tissue engineered articular cartilage constructs of clinically-relevant dimensions with mechanical properties approaching one-third of native values [1]. These constructs, however, are cultured in 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), which if eliminated, will make them more desirable as an in vitro cartilage replacement towards a translational approach. To this end, this study sought to assess the quality of self-assembled articular cartilage constructs exposed to varying amounts of FBS as well as a serum substitute that has recently been found to induce chondrogenic differentiation and increase cell proliferation [2].

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