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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Dec 2023 - 22 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 19

Adv Sci (Weinh)


Engineering Sensory Ganglion Multicellular System to Model Tissue Nerve Ingrowth.


Ma J, Eglauf J, Grad S, Alini M, Serra T


Discogenic pain is associated with deep nerve ingrowth in annulus fibrosus tissue (AF) of intervertebral disc (IVD). To model AF nerve ingrowth, primary bovine dorsal root ganglion (DRG) micro-scale tissue units are spatially organised around an AF explant by mild hydrodynamic forces within a collagen matrix. This results in a densely packed multicellular system mimicking the native DRG tissue morphology and a controlled AF-neuron distance. Such a multicellular organisation is essential to evolve populational-level cellular functions and in vivo-like morphologies. Pro-inflammatory cytokine-primed AF demonstrates its neurotrophic and neurotropic effects on nociceptor axons. Both effects are dependent on the AF-neuron distance underpinning the role of recapitulating inter-tissue/organ anatomical proximity when investigating their crosstalk. This is the first in vitro model studying AF nerve ingrowth by engineering mature and large animal tissues in a morphologically and physiologically relevant environment. The new approach can be used to biofabricate multi-tissue/organ models for untangling pathophysiological conditions and develop novel therapies.