Cell-Based Therapy for Meniscal Repair: A Large Animal Study

Giuseppe M. Peretti, Thomas J. Gill, Jian Wei Xu, Mark A. Randolph, Kenneth R. Morse, David J. Zaleske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The avascular portion of the meniscus cartilage in the knee does not have the ability to repair spontaneously. Hypothesis: Cell-based therapy is able to repair a lesion in the swine meniscus. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: Sixteen Yorkshire pigs were divided into four groups. A longitudinal tear was produced in the avascular portion of the left medial meniscus of 4 pigs. Autologous chondrocytes were seeded onto devitalized allogenic meniscal slices and were secured inside the lesion with two sutures. Identical incisions were created in 12 other pigs, which were used as three separate control groups: 4 animals treated with an unseeded scaffold, 4 were simply sutured, and 4 were left untreated. Meniscal samples were collected after 9 weeks, and the samples were analyzed grossly, histologically, and histomorphometrically. Results: Gross results showed bonding of the lesion margins in the specimens of the experimental group, whereas no repair was noted in any of the control group specimens. Histological and histomorphometrical analysis showed multiple areas of healing in the specimens of the experimental group. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the ability of seeded chondrocytes to heal a meniscal tear. Clinical Relevance: Cell-based therapy could be a potential tool for avascular meniscus repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-158
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Chondrocytes
  • Knee
  • Meniscus
  • Repair
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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