Author(s): Chu CR, Coutts RD, Yoshioka M, Harwood FL, Monosov AZ,
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Abstract Efforts to expand treatment options for articular cartilage repair have increasingly focused on the implantation of cell-polymer constructs. The purpose of this study is to determine the suitability of porous D,D-L,L-polylactic acid as a carrier for delivering repair cells obtained from rib perichondrium into full-thickness articular cartilage defects. In vitro characterization of perichondrocyte-polylactic acid composite grafts was combined with in vivo assessment of the early articular cartilage repair in a clinically relevant model. Using a fluorescent double-stain protocol to visualize live and dead cells in situ, primary cells cultured from perichondrium were found to be capable of attaching to and surviving within a porous D,D-L,L-polylactic acid matrix. These perichondrocyte-polylactic acid composite grafts were then implanted within osteochondral defects drilled into the left medial femoral condyles of 16 adult New Zealand white rabbits. Experimental animals were sacrificed 6 weeks after implantation and the repair tissue was evaluated grossly, histologically, and biochemically. Grossly, 96\% (15/16) of the experimental animals demonstrated repairs consisting of a smooth, firm neocartilage which appeared similar in color and texture to the surrounding articular surface. Matrix staining for cartilaginous protein was seen surrounding chondrocyte-like cells in the cartilage regions of the repair. Cellular alignment was found to be related to scaffold architecture. These results suggest that scaffolds composed of porous D,D-L,L-polylactic acid support the growth of cartilaginous repair tissue and are compatible with both in vitro and in vivo survival of chondrogenic cells.
This article was published in J Biomed Mater Res
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research