Study Design. In vitro culture of porcine bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) in varying pH microenvironments in a 3D hydrogel system.
Objective. To characterise the response of BMSCs to varying pH environments (blood (pH 7.4), healthy IVD (pH 7.1), mildly degenerated IVD (pH 6.8) and severely degenerated IVD (pH 6.5) in 3D culture under normoxic (20%) and hypoxic (5%) conditions.
Summary of Background Data. The intervertebral disc (IVD) is an avascular organ relying on diffusion of essential nutrients through the cartilaginous endplates (CEPs) thereby creating a challenging microenvironment. Within a degenerated IVD, oxygen and glucose concentrations decrease further (<5% oxygen, <5 mM glucose) and matrix acidity (