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21.08.2018 | Experimental Study

Cartilage regeneration using a novel autologous growth factors-based matrix for full-thickness defects in sheep

Zeitschrift:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Autoren:
Juan Manuel Domínguez Pérez, José Andrés Fernández-Sarmiento, Daniel Aguilar García, María del Mar Granados Machuca, Juan Morgaz Rodríguez, Rocío Navarrete Calvo, José Pérez Arévalo, José María Carrillo Poveda, Eduard Alentorn-Geli, Patricia Laiz Boada, Ramón Cugat Bertomeu

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the chondrogenic-regenerative properties of a novel autologous-made matrix composed of hyaline cartilage chips combined with a growth factors-based clot for full-thickness defects in sheep.

Methods

A full-thickness, 8-mm diameter cartilage defect was created in the weight-bearing area of the medial femoral condyle in 6 sheep. Treatment consisted of surgical implantation of an autologous-based matrix of hyaline cartilage chips combined with a clot of plasma poor in platelets and intraarticular injection of plasma rich in growth factors. Outcome measures at 1, 3 and 6 months included macroscopic International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) score, histological and immunohistochemical analysis for collagen expression, and transmission electron microscopy study.

Results

The 6-month macroscopic evaluation showed nearly normal (11.1 ± 0.7) cartilage repair assessment. The ICRS score was significantly higher at 6 months compared to 3 months (5.5 ± 1.3; p < 0.0001) and 1 (1.1 ± 0.4; p < 0.0001) month. At 6 months, hyaline cartilage tissue filling the defect was observed with adequate integration of the regenerated cartilage at the surrounding healthy cartilage margin. At 6 months, mature chondrons and cartilage matrix contained collagen fibers with masked fibrillary structure, and the expression of collagen in the newly formed cartilage was similar in intensity and distribution pattern compared to the healthy adjacent cartilage.

Conclusions

This novel treatment enhanced chondrogenesis and regenerated hyaline cartilage at 6 months with nearly normal macroscopic ICRS assessment. Histological analysis showed equivalent structure to mature cartilage tissue in the defect and a collagen expression pattern in the newly formed cartilage similar to that found in adjacent healthy articular cartilage. The present technique may have clinical application for chondral injuries in humans because this procedure is cheap (no need for allograft, or expensive instrumentation/biomaterials/techniques), easy and fast-performing through a small arthrotomy, and safe (no rejection possibility because the patients’ own tissue, cells, and plasma are used).

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