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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1989 Jan;71(1):74-80.

Repair of rabbit articular surfaces with allograft chondrocytes embedded in collagen gel.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.


In an attempt to repair articular cartilage, allograft articular chondrocytes embedded in collagen gel, were transplanted into full-thickness defects in rabbit articular cartilage. Twenty-four weeks after the transplantation, the defects were filled with hyaline cartilage, specifically synthesising Type II collagen. These chondrocytes were autoradiographically proven to have originated from the transplanted grafts. Assessed histologically the success rate was about 80%, a marked improvement over the results reported in previous studies on chondrocyte transplantation without collagen gel. By contrast, the defects without chondrocyte transplantation healed with fibrocartilage. Immunological enhancement induced by transplanted allogenic chondrocytes or collagen was not significant at eight weeks after treatment, so far as shown by both direct and indirect blastformation reactions. Thus, allogenic transplantation of isolated chondrocytes embedded in collagen gel appears to be one of the most promising methods for the restoration of articular cartilage.

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