Chondrocytes were isolated from articular cartilage biopsy and were cultivated in vitro. Approximately 30 million of cultured chondrocytes per ml were incorporated with autologous plasma-derived fibrin to form three-dimensional construct. Full-thickness punch hole defects were created in lateral and medial femoral condyles. The defects were implanted either with the autologous 'chondrocytes-fibrin' construct (ACFC), autologous chondrocytes (ACI) or fibrin blank (AF). Sheep were euthanized after 12 weeks. The gross morphology of all defects treated with ACFC implantation, ACI and AF exhibited median scores which correspond to a nearly normal appearance according to the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) classification. ACFC significantly enhanced cartilage repair compared to ACI and AF in accordance with the modified O'Driscoll histological scoring scale. The relative sulphated glycosaminoglycans content (%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in ACFC when compared to control groups; ACI vs. fibrin only vs. untreated (blank). Results showed that ACFC implantation exhibited superior cartilage-like tissue regeneration compared to ACI. If the result is applicable to the human, it possibly will improve the existing treatment approaches for cartilage restoration in orthopaedic surgery.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.