ABSTRACT: The objective of our study was to evaluate the integration of autologous cartilage tissue engineering transplants based on resorbable polyglactin/polydioxanone scaffolds into full-thickness cartilage defects of horses. Cartilage biopsies were taken from the non-load-bearing area of the lateral talus of the left tibiotarsal joint of eight healthy Haflinger horses. Tissue engineering cartilage transplants were generated by three-dimensional arrangement of autologous chondrocytes in biocompatible and resorbable polymer scaffolds. Full-thickness cartilage defects of 8 mm in diameter were created in the tubular bone condyle of the fetlock joint and cartilage grafts were fixed using an anchor system, while defects without grafting served as controls. After 6 and 12 months the repair tissue was evaluated histologically and showed formation of a cartilaginous tissue and good integration into the surrounding host tissue with firm bonding of the graft to the adjacent cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that the content of glycosaminoglycans and hydroxyproline is comparable in repair tissue derived from treated and control defects. The use of three-dimensional autologous cartilage transplants based on resorbable polymer scaffolds ensures secure fixation, good integration of the graft into cartilage lesions, and is therefore suggested as a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of cartilage defects.
Biomaterials 06/2006; 27(14):2882-9. · 7.40 Impact Factor