Author(s): Ahmed TA, Hincke MT
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Abstract Injury of articular cartilage due to trauma or pathological conditions is the major cause of disability worldwide, especially in North America. The increasing number of patients suffering from joint-related conditions leads to a concomitant increase in the economic burden. In this review article, we focus on strategies to repair and replace knee joint cartilage, since knee-associated disabilities are more prevalent than any other joint. Because of inadequacies associated with widely used approaches, the orthopedic community has an increasing tendency to develop biological strategies, which include transplantation of autologous (i.e., mosaicplasty) or allogeneic osteochondral grafts, autologous chondrocytes (autologous chondrocyte transplantation), or tissue-engineered cartilage substitutes. Tissue-engineered cartilage constructs represent a highly promising treatment option for knee injury as they mimic the biomechanical environment of the native cartilage and have superior integration capabilities. Currently, a wide range of tissue-engineering-based strategies are established and investigated clinically as an alternative to the routinely used techniques (i.e., knee replacement and autologous chondrocyte transplantation). Tissue-engineering-based strategies include implantation of autologous chondrocytes in combination with collagen I, collagen I/III (matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation), HYAFF 11 (Hyalograft C), and fibrin glue (Tissucol) or implantation of minced cartilage in combination with copolymers of polyglycolic acid along with polycaprolactone (cartilage autograft implantation system), and fibrin glue (DeNovo NT graft). Tissue-engineered cartilage replacements show better clinical outcomes in the short term, and with advances that have been made in orthopedics they can be introduced arthroscopically in a minimally invasive fashion. Thus, the future is bright for this innovative approach to restore function.
This article was published in Tissue Eng Part B Rev
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies