Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 19, Issue 12, pp 2145–2152

A comparative study of 3 different cartilage repair techniques

Authors

    • Arthro Nova Clinic
  • Bernhard Schmidt-Rohlfing
    • Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryAachen University Hospital
  • Karsten Gavenis
    • Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryAachen University Hospital
  • Uwe Maus
    • Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryAachen University Hospital
  • Ralf Mueller-Rath
    • Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryAachen University Hospital
  • Stefan Andereya
    • Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryAachen University Hospital
Experimental Study

DOI: 10.1007/s00167-011-1460-x

Cite this article as:
Schneider, U., Schmidt-Rohlfing, B., Gavenis, K. et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2011) 19: 2145. doi:10.1007/s00167-011-1460-x

Abstract

Purpose

The value of cell-free techniques in the treatment of cartilage defects remains under debate. In this study, cartilage repair of full-thickness chondral defects in the knees of Goettinger minipigs was assessed by treatment with a cell-free collagen type-I gel or a collagen type-I gel seeded with autologous chondrocytes. As a control, abrasion arthroplasty was included.

Methods

In 18 adult Goettinger minipigs, three full-thickness chondral defects were created in one knee of the hind leg. They were either treated with a cell-free collagen gel, a collagen gel seeded with 2 × 105/ml chondrocytes, or left untreated. All animals were allowed unlimited weight bearing. At 6, 12, and 52 weeks, 6 animals were sacrificed. Immediately after recovery, a non-destructive biomechanical testing was performed. The repair tissue quality was evaluated histologically, and the O’Driscoll score was calculated.

Results

After 6 weeks, a high number of cells migrated into the initially cell-free collagen gel. After 1 year, a hyaline-like repair tissue in both groups has been created. As assessed by O’Driscoll scoring and col-II staining, repair tissue quality of the initially cell-free gel was equal to defects treated by cell-seeded collagen gel implantation after 1 year. All untreated control defects displayed a fibrous repair tissue. The mechanical properties represented by the e-modulus were inconsistent in the course of the study.

Conclusions

The implantation of a cell-free collagen type-I gel can lead to a high-quality repair tissue in the Goettinger minipig that equals a cell-based procedure after 1 year postoperatively. This study demonstrates the high chondrogenic potential of the applied collagen gel, which might help to overcome the disadvantages inherent in conventional cartilage tissue engineering methods.

Keywords

Collagen type-I gelGoettinger minipigCartilage tissue engineeringCell-free implant

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011