In the field of orthopaedics, autologous chondrocyte implantation is a technique currently used for the regeneration of damaged articular cartilage. There is evidence of the neo-formation of tissue displaying characteristics similar to hyaline cartilage. In vitro chondrocyte manipulation is a crucial phase of this therapeutic treatment consisting of different steps: cell isolation from a cartilage biopsy, expansion in monolayer culture and growth onto a three-dimensional biomaterial to implant in the damaged area. To minimise the risk of in vitro cell contamination, the manipulation must be performed in a controlled environment such as a cleanroom. Moreover, the choice of reagents and raw material suitable for clinical use in humans and the translation of research protocols into standardised production processes are important. In this study we describe the preliminary results obtained by the development of chondrocyte manipulation protocols (isolation and monolayer expansion) in cleanrooms for the application of autologous implantation.
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