Orderly osteochondral regeneration in a sheep model using a novel nano-composite multilayered biomaterial

Elizaveta Kon, Marco Delcogliano, Giuseppe Filardo, Milena Fini, Gianluca Giavaresi, Silvia Francioli, Ivan Martin, Daniele Pressato, Elena Arcangeli, Rodolfo Quarto, Monica Sandri, Maurillo Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this articlewas to investigate the safety and regenerative potential of anewly developed biomimetic scaffoldwhen applied to osteochondral defects in an animal model. A newmultilayer gradient nano-composite scaffold was obtained by nucleating collagen fibrils with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles. In the femoral condyles of 12 sheep, 24 osteochondral lesionswere created.Animalswere randomized into three treatment groups: scaffold alone, scaffold colonized in vitro with autologous chondrocytes and empty defects. Six months after surgery, the animals were sacrificed and the lesions were histologically evaluated. Histologic and gross evaluation of specimens showed good integration of the chondral surface in all groups except for the control group. Significantly better bone regeneration was observed both in the group receiving the scaffold alone and in the group with scaffold loaded with autologous chondrocytes. No difference in cartilage surface reconstruction and osteochondral defect filling was noted between cell-seeded and cell-free groups. In the control group, no bone or cartilage defect healing occurred, and the defects were filled with fibrous tissue. Quantitativemacroscopic and histological score evaluations confirmed the qualitative trends observed. The results of the present study showed that this novel osteochondral scaffold is safe and easy to use, and may represent a suitable matrix to direct and coordinate the process of bone and hyaline-like cartilage regeneration. The comparable regeneration process observed with or without autologous chondrocytes suggests that themainmode of action of the scaffold is based on the recruitment of local cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Autologous chondrocytes
  • Biomimetic scaffold
  • Cartilage regeneration
  • Osteochondral defect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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