eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2021   Volume No 43 – pages 79-97

Title: Characterisation of subchondral bone repair following transplantation of bioreactor-manufactured autologous osteochondral graft in a sheep model

Authors: P Kostešić, A Vukasović Barišić, I Erjavec, M Pušić, D Hudetz, D Matičić, D Vnuk, M Vučković, A Ivković

Address: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital “Sveti Duh”, Sveti Duh 64, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

E-mail: alan.ivkovic at

Abstract: To date, no single approach to the treatment of osteochondral defects has resulted in satisfactory long-term outcomes, especially in a young and active human population. Emerging innovative tissue engineering strategies, including the use of composite scaffolds, novel cell sources and bioreactors, have shown promising results. However, these techniques need to be validated in translational animal models before they can be implemented in clinical practice. The aim of the present study was to analyse morphological and microarchitectural parameters during subchondral bone repair following transplantation of bioreactor-manufactured autologous osteochondral grafts in a sheep model. Animals were divided into 4 treatment groups: nasal chondrocyte (NC) autologous osteochondral grafts, articular chondrocyte (AC) autologous osteochondral grafts, cell-free scaffolds (CFS) and empty defects (EDs). After 6 weeks, 3 months and 12 months, bone remodelling was assessed by histology and micro-computed tomography (µCT). Although gradual remodelling and subchondral bone repair were seen in all groups across the time points, the best results were observed in the NC group. This was evidenced by the extent of new tissue formation and its best integration into the surrounding tissue in the NC group at all time points. This also suggested that nasal septum chondrocyte-seeded grafts adapted well to the biomechanical conditions of the loaded joint surface.

Keywords: Subchondral bone, osteochondral graft, tissue engineering, computerised tomography, bioreactors, cartilage repair, animal model.

Publication date: March 2nd 2022

Article download: Pages 79-97 (PDF file)

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