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CARGEL Bioscaffold improves cartilage repair tissue after bone marrow stimulation in a minipig model

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Purpose: To gain knowledge of the repair tissue in critically sized cartilage defects using bone marrow stimulation combined with CARGEL Bioscaffold (CB) compared with bone marrow stimulation (BMS) alone in a validated animal model. Methods: Six adult Göttingen minipigs received two chondral defects in each knee. The knees were randomized to either BMS combined with CB or BMS alone. The animals were euthanized after 6 months. Follow-up consisted of histomorphometry, immunohistochemistry, semiquantitative scoring of the repair tissue (ICRS II), and μCT of the trabecular bone beneath the defect. Results: There was significantly more fibrocartilage (80% vs 64%, p = 0.04) and a trend towards less fibrous tissue (15% vs 30%, p = 0.05) in the defects treated with CB. Hyaline cartilage was only seen in one defect treated with CB and none treated with BMS alone. For histological semiquantitative score (ICRS II), defects treated with CB scored lower on subchondral bone (69 vs. 44, p = 0.04). No significant differences were seen on the other parameters of the ICRS II. Immunohistochemistry revealed a trend towards more positive staining for collagen type II in the CB group (p = 0.08). μCT demonstrated thicker trabeculae (p = 0.029) and a higher bone material density (p = 0.028) in defects treated with CB. Conclusion: Treatment of cartilage injuries with CARGEL Bioscaffold seems to lead to an improved repair tissue and a more pronounced subchondral bone response compared with bone marrow stimulation alone. However, the CARGEL Bioscaffold treatment did not lead to formation of hyaline cartilage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalJournal of experimental orthopaedics
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Articular cartilage, Bone marrow stimulation, Cartilage repair, Drilling, Knee, Microfracture, Minipig

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