Autologous cartilage fragments in a composite scaffold for one stage osteochondral repair in a goat model

Antonio Marmotti, Matteo Bruzzone, Davide E. Bonasia, Filippo Castoldi, Mitzy Mauthe Von Degerfeld, Cristina Bignardi, Silvia Mattia, Alessio Maiello, Roberto Rossi, Giuseppe M. Peretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a culture-free approach to osteochondral repair with minced autologous cartilage fragments loaded onto a scaffold composed of a hyaluronic acid (HA)-derived membrane, platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM) and fibrin glue. The aim of the study was to demonstrate in vitro the outgrowth of chondrocytes from cartilage fragments onto this scaffold and, in vivo, the formation of functional repair tissue in goat osteochondral defects. Two sections were considered: 1) in vitro: minced articular cartilage from goat stifle joints was loaded onto scaffolds, cultured for 1 or 2 months, and then evaluated histologically and immunohistochemically; 2) in vivo: 2 unilateral criticallysized trochlear osteochondral defects were created in 15 adult goats; defects were treated with cartilage fragments embedded in the scaffold (Group 1), with the scaffold alone (Group 2), or untreated (Group 3). Repair processes were evaluated morphologically, histologically, immunohistochemically and biomechanically at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. We found that in vitro, chondrocytes from cartilage fragments migrated to the scaffold and, at 2 months, matrix positive for collagen type II was observed in the constructs. In vivo, morphological and histological assessment demonstrated that cartilage fragment-loaded scaffolds led to the formation of functional hyaline-like repair tissue. Repair in Group 1 was superior to that of control groups, both histologically and mechanically. Autologous cartilage fragments loaded onto an HA/ PRFM/fibrin glue scaffold provided a viable cell source and allowed for an improvement of the repair process of osteochondral defects in a goat model, representing an effective alternative for one-stage repair of osteochondral lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Cells and Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Cartilage fragments
  • Chondrocytes
  • Fibrin glue
  • Goat model
  • Hyaluronic acid-derived membrane
  • Nanoindentation
  • One-stage cartilage repair
  • Osteochondral defects
  • Plateletrich fibrin matrix
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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