Background This work aimed to evaluate the efficacy of cartilage transplantation to the medial femoral condyle ± platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) augmentation in a porcine model. The hypothesis of the study was that PRF may act as a bioactive cell scaffold to fill defects and enhance cartilage regeneration. Methods Thirty-two knees of 16 miniature pigs were randomly assigned to four groups. The critical-size osteochondral defects (8 x 5 mm) in femoral condyle of both knees were treated with one of the following: group 1－untreated controls; group 2－cartilage fragments alone; group 3－PRF alone; group 4－PRFT + cartilage fragments. After completion of the surgical implantation, the periosteal patch harvested from the proximal tibia was sutured onto the cartilage of the medial condyle to cover the implanted defects. Animals were sacrificed at six months after treatment. The regenerated cartilages were assessed by gross inspection and histological examination. Results The best results were obtained with the repair tissue being hyaline-like cartilage (group 4). The grading score of histological evaluation demonstrated that group 4 had better matrix, cell distribution and cartilage mineralization than group 2 and group 3. PRF showed a positive effect on the cartilage repair; the procedure was more effective when PRF was combined with autologous chondrocytes. Conclusions This approach may provide a successfully employed technique to target cartilage defects in vivo. Larger groups and longer periods of study may provide more definitive and meaningful support for using this therapeutic approach as a new way of cartilage regeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine