Purpose: Autologous collagen-induced chondrogenesis technique (ACIC) combines microfractures with the use of an injectable atelocollagen matrix that allows performing the whole cartilage repair treatment arthroscopically. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro cytocompatibility of this biomaterial using human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and human chondrocytes. Moreover, the preliminary data of five patients affected by chondral lesion of the talus treated with the ACIC technique are shown. Methods: Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and human chondrocytes were seeded on solid and pre-solid atelocollagen scaffolds. Cell-scaffold constructs were cultured for 7 days and then prepared for histological analyses. Arthroscopic ACIC was performed in five patients affected by chondral lesions of the talus; they were clinically evaluated with AOFAS, VAS and Tegner score before and then after 6 months from surgery. Results: In vitro results showed that both bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and chondrocytes were able to efficiently colonize the whole construct, from the surface to the core, only when seeded on the pre-solid atelocollagen scaffold, but not on its solid form. No adverse events were observed in the patients treated with the ACIC technique; a significant improvement in VAS pain scale and in AOFAS score was found at 6 months follow up. Conclusion: Injectable atelocollagen can be considered a feasible scaffold for cartilage repair treatment, in particular if used in its pre-solid form. ACIC leads to good clinical results in the treatment for chondral lesions of the talus even if longer follow-up and a higher number of patients are necessary to confirm these data. Level of evidence: IV.
- Autologous collagen-induced chondrogenesis (ACIC)
- Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells
- Cartilage repair
- Chondral lesions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine