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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Apr;21(4):589-98. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Clinical feasibility of a novel biphasic osteochondral composite for matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte implantation.

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National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



Matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte implantation has been used to treat cartilage defects. We developed a biphasic cylindrical osteochondral composite construct for such use, and conducted this study to determine its feasibility for treating osteochondral lesions in human knees.


Ten patients with symptomatic osteochondral lesions at femoral condyles were treated by replacing pathological tissue with the construct of dl-poly-lactide-co-glycolide, whose lower body was impregnated with β-tricalcium phosphate and served as osseous phase. The construct had a chamber to load double-minced autologous cartilage, serving as source of chondrocytes. Osteochondral lesion was drill-fashioned a pit of identical dimension as the construct. Chondrocyte-laden construct was press-fit to fill the pit. Postoperative outcome was evaluated using Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) scale up to 24 months. Magnetic resonance image was taken, and sample tissue was collected with second-look arthroscopic needle biopsy at 12 months. Outcome parameters were primarily safety of surgery, and secondarily postoperative change in KOOS and regeneration of hyaline cartilage and cancellous bone.


No patient experienced serious adverse events. Postoperative mean KOOS in "symptoms" subscale had not changed significantly from pre-operation until 24 months; whereas those in the other four subscales were significantly higher than pre-operation at 12 and 24 months. Second-look arthroscopy showed completely filled grafted sites, with regenerate cartilaginous surfaces flushed with surrounding native joint surface. Microscopically, regenerated cartilage appeared hyaline.


This novel construct for chondrocyte implantation is safe for surgical application in knee. It repairs osteochondral lesions of femoral condyles by successful regeneration of hyaline cartilage.

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