Injury to the diarthrodial joint is often associated with elevated levels of cytokines and other inflammatory molecules. While the influence of interleukin on articular cartilage has been well-studied, its effects on engineered cartilage are not. The presence of inflammatory factors in the injured joint would be expected to affect the performance of implanted engineered cartilage repair tissue [1] and this effect may be especially pronounced in underdeveloped tissues [2]. The current study addresses this issue by examining the influence of interleukin (IL-1α and IL-1β) on engineered cartilage mechanical and biochemical properties at sequential stages of development. Furthermore, dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid that has been shown in some cases to suppress interleukin-induced degradation of native cartilage [3], was examined in the context of engineered constructs.

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