International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 25–34 | Cite as

Bone marrow concentrate and expanded mesenchymal stromal cell surnatants as cell-free approaches for the treatment of osteochondral defects in a preclinical animal model

  • Francesca Veronesi
  • Giovanna Desando
  • Milena Fini
  • Annapaola Parrilli
  • Roberta Lolli
  • Melania MaglioEmail author
  • Lucia Martini
  • Gianluca Giavaresi
  • Isabella Bartolotti
  • Brunella Grigolo
  • Maria Sartori
Original Paper



To evaluate the regenerative potential of surnatants (SNs) from bone marrow concentrate (SN-BMC) and expanded mesenchymal stromal cells (SN-MSCs) loaded onto a collagen scaffold (SC) in comparison with cell-based treatments (BMC and MSCs) in an osteochondral (OC) defect model in rabbits.


OC defects (3 × 5 mm) were created in the rabbit femoral condyles and treated with SC alone or combined with SN-BMC, SN-MSCs, BMC, and MSCs. In control groups, the defects were left untreated. At three and six months, the quality of regenerated tissue was evaluated with macroscopic, histologic, microtomographic, and immunohistochemical assessments. The production of several immunoenzymatic markers was measured in the synovial fluid.


All proposed treatments improved OC regeneration in comparison with untreated and SC-treated defects. Both BMC and MSCs showed a similar healing potential than their respective SNs, with the best performance exerted by BMC as demonstrated with macroscopic and histological scores and type I and II collagen results.


SNs loaded onto SC exerted a positive effect on OC defect regeneration, underlying the biological significance of the trophic factors, thus potentially opening new opportunities for the use of cell-free-based therapies. BMC was confirmed to be the most beneficial treatment.


Osteochondral defect In vivo model Cell-free approach Bone marrow concentrate Mesenchymal stromal cells 


Funding information

This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Health-Ricerca Corrente to the IRCCS Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute and by a grant from Regione Emilia Romagna: Programma di Ricerca Regione-Università 2010–2012—Strategic Program “Regenerative Medicine of Cartilage and Bone” (PRUa1RI-2012-007).

Compliance with ethical standards

The experimental protocol and surgical procedures were approved by a local Ethical Committee and authorized by the Italian Ministry of Health (Title of the project: One-step surgery with stem cells for the treatment of osteochondral lesions—No. 0017661, approved on May 29, 2013).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Veronesi
    • 1
  • Giovanna Desando
    • 2
  • Milena Fini
    • 1
  • Annapaola Parrilli
    • 1
  • Roberta Lolli
    • 1
  • Melania Maglio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucia Martini
    • 1
  • Gianluca Giavaresi
    • 1
  • Isabella Bartolotti
    • 2
  • Brunella Grigolo
    • 2
  • Maria Sartori
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Preclinical and Surgical Studies, Rizzoli-RITIRCCS Rizzoli Orthopedic InstituteBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory RAMSESIRCCS Rizzoli Orthopedic InstituteBolognaItaly

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