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J Orthop Res. 2010 Dec;28(12):1586-99. doi: 10.1002/jor.21173.

A novel MSC-seeded triphasic construct for the repair of osteochondral defects.

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Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are increasingly replacing chondrocytes in tissue engineering based research for treatment of osteochondral defects. The aim of this work was to determine whether repair of critical-size chronic osteochondral defects in an ovine model using MSC-seeded triphasic constructs would show results comparable to osteochondral autografting (OATS). Triphasic implants were engineered using a beta-tricalcium phosphate osseous phase, an intermediate activated plasma phase, and a collagen I hydrogel chondral phase. Autologous MSCs were used to seed the implants, with chondrogenic predifferentiation of the cells used in the cartilage phase. Osteochondral defects of 4.0 mm diameter were created bilaterally in ovine knees (n = 10). Six weeks later, half of the lesions were treated with OATS and half with triphasic constructs. The knees were dissected at 6 or 12 months. With the chosen study design we were not able to demonstrate significant differences between the histological scores of both groups. Subcategory analysis of O'Driscoll scores showed superior cartilage bonding in the 6-month triphasic group compared to the autograft group. The 12-month autograft group showed superior cartilage matrix morphology compared to the 12-month triphasic group. Macroscopic and biomechanical analysis showed no significant differences at 12 months. Autologous MSC-seeded triphasic implants showed comparable repair quality to osteochondral autografts in terms of histology and biomechanical testing.

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