The Effect of Perichondrium on Biological and Biomechanical Properties of Molded Diced Cartilage Grafts

  • Yingshen Shi
  • Rong Guo
  • Qiang Hou
  • Hao Hu
  • Hui WangEmail author
  • Hua JiangEmail author
Original Article Basic Science/Experimental



Diced cartilage is a significant alternative approach to cartilage grafting. However, the viability and biomechanical properties of diced cartilage grafts remain to be improved, and the role of perichondrium is largely neglected. This study aimed to evaluate the histological and biomechanical effects of perichondrium on custom-shaped diced cartilage grafts constructed via a high-density porous polyethylene mold.


Seven New Zealand rabbits were used. Unilateral auricular cartilage was harvested and divided into 2 parts, with or without perichondrium, diced into 1 × 1 × 0.5 mm cubical pieces, and filled into high-density porous polyethylene molds. Three grafts with the perichondrium removed and 3 with the perichondrium preserved were implanted subcutaneously at the dorsum. The grafts underwent biomechanical and histological tests 4, 8, and 12 weeks after the implantation.


The diced cartilage merged into integrated blocks without observable resorption in both groups at each time point. Additionally, the retention rate of weight was higher in the perichondrium-preserved group (P < 0.05). We observed regenerated cartilage that stained positively for type II collagen and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). A greater area of regenerated cartilage and higher scores of GFAP staining were observed in the perichondrium-preserved group (P < 0.05). The yield stress and modulus of elasticity were also higher in the perichondrium-preserved grafts from week 8 after implantation (P < 0.05).


Diced cartilage grafts with a custom shape can be constructed using a high-density porous polyethylene mold. The preservation of perichondrium can improve graft viability and biomechanical properties.

Level of evidence

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Diced cartilage Perichondrium Biomechanical property Rhinoplasty Auricular cartilage High-density porous polyethylene mold 



This work was financially supported by National Natural Science Fund of China (Grant Number 31400883).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Animal Experiments Ethics Committee of the Institutional Review Board and all procedures complied with the national Laboratory Animal Administration Rules of China.

Informed Consent

For this type of article informed consent does not apply.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic Surgery, Shanghai East HospitalTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Plastic Surgery, 260 HospitalSergeant School Affiliated to Army Medical UniversityShijiazhuangChina

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