Effect of Biomechanical Environment on Degeneration of Meckel’s Cartilage

M. Farahat, G. A.S. Kazi, E. S. Hara, T. Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


During orofacial tissue development, the anterior and posterior regions of the Meckel’s cartilage undergo mineralization, while the middle region undergoes degeneration. Despite the interesting and particular phenomena, the mechanisms that regulate the different fates of Meckel’s cartilage, including the effects of biomechanical cues, are still unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the course of Meckel’s cartilage during embryonic development from a biomechanical perspective. Histomorphological and biomechanical (stiffness) changes in the Meckel’s cartilage were analyzed from embryonic day 12 to postnatal day 0. The results revealed remarkable changes in the morphology and size of chondrocytes, as well as the occurrence of chondrocyte burst in the vicinity of the mineralization site, an often-seen phenomenon preceding endochondral ossification. To understand the effect of biomechanical cues on Meckel’s cartilage fate, a mechanically tuned 3-dimensional hydrogel culture system was used. At the anterior region, a moderately soft environment (10-kPa hydrogel) promoted chondrocyte burst and ossification. On the contrary, at the middle region, a more rigid environment (40-kPa hydrogel) enhanced cartilage degradation by inducing a higher expression of MMP-1 and MMP-13. These results indicate that differences in the biomechanical properties of the surrounding environment are essential factors that distinctly guide the mineralization and degradation of Meckel’s cartilage and would be valuable tools for modulating in vitro cartilage and bone tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • biomimetics
  • chondrocyte burst
  • extracellular matrix
  • hydrogel
  • mechanotransduction
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of Biomechanical Environment on Degeneration of Meckel’s Cartilage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this