FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

A copper sulfate and hydroxylysine treatment regimen for enhancing collagen cross-linking and biomechanical properties in engineered neocartilage.

PMID 23457219


The objective of this study was to improve the biomechanical properties of engineered neotissues through promoting the development of collagen cross-links. It was hypothesized that supplementing medium with copper sulfate and the amino acid hydroxylysine would enhance the activity of lysyl oxidase enzyme to form collagen cross-links, increasing the strength and integrity of the neotissue. Neocartilage constructs were generated using a scaffoldless, self-assembling process and treated with copper sulfate and hydroxylysine, either alone or in combination, following a 2-factor, full-factorial study design. Following a 6-wk culture period, the biomechanical and biochemical properties of the constructs were measured. Results found copper sulfate to significantly increase pyridinoline (PYR) cross-links in all copper sulfate-containing groups over controls. When copper sulfate and hydroxylysine were combined, the result was synergistic, with a 10-fold increase in PYR content over controls. This increase in PYR cross-links manifested in a 3.3-fold significant increase in the tensile properties of the copper sulfate + hydroxylysine group. In addition, an 123% increase over control values was detected in the copper sulfate group in terms of the aggregate modulus. These data elucidate the role of copper sulfate and hydroxylysine toward improving the biomechanical properties of neotissues through collagen cross-linking enhancement.