Long term results after implantation of tissue engineered cartilage for the treatment of osteochondral lesions in a minipig model
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- Petersen, J.P., Ueblacker, P., Goepfert, C. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2008) 19: 2029. doi:10.1007/s10856-007-3291-3
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In present study we determined the long term in vivo integration and histological modeling of an in vitro engineered cartilage construct. Tissue engineered autologous cartilagenous tissue was cultured on calcium phosphate cylinders and implanted into osteochondral defects into the femoral condyles in minipigs. Radiological follow-up was performed at 2, 8, 26 and 52 weeks, condyles were harvested 26 and 52 weeks post-implantation. Thickness of cultivated tissue (1.10 ± 0.55 mm) was comparable to in situ cartilage and cells produced in vitro cartilage specific proteins. In vivo, 26 and 52 weeks post-implantation defects were resurfaced with hyaline-like tissue, the implants were well integrated with no gap at the interface between the engineered neocartilage and the adjacent articular cartilage. Synthesis of type II collagen was detected 26 and 52 weeks after implantation. The modified ICRS score increased from 26 to 52 weeks. Histomorphometric evaluation revealed a decrease in cellularity in tissue engineered cartilage from 2.2-fold of native cartilage after 26 weeks to 1.5-fold after 52 weeks. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the integration and maturation of tissue engineered cartilage pellets attached on a bone substitute carrier implanted in osteochondral defects over a long time.