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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2007 Jan;15(1):88-92. Epub 2006 Jun 13.

Membrane-seeded autologous chondrocytes: cell viability and characterization at surgery.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Tronto 10, 60020 Ancona, Italy.


The implantation of chondrocytes, seeded on matrices such as hyaluronic acid or collagen membranes, is a method that is being widely used for the treatment of chondral defects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the distribution, viability and phenotype expression of the cells seeded on a collagen membrane just at the time of the implantation. Twelve patients who were suffering from articular cartilage lesions were treated by the MACI procedure. The residual part of each membrane was tested by colorimetric assay (MTT) and histochemical and ultrastructural analyses were carried out. In all of the samples a large number of viable cells, quite homogenously distributed, was detected. The cells expressed the markers of the differentiated hyaline chondrocytes. These data reassure in that the MACI procedure provides a suitable engineered tissue for cartilage repair, in line with the clinical evidences emerging in the literature.

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