Osteochondral tissue engineering approaches for articular cartilage and subchondral bone regeneration

Silvia Panseri, Alessandro Russo, Carla Cunha, Alice Bondi, Alessandro Di Martino, Silvia Patella, Elizaveta Kon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Osteochondral defects (i. e., defects which affect both the articular cartilage and underlying subchondral bone) are often associated with mechanical instability of the joint and therefore with the risk of inducing osteoarthritic degenerative changes. This review addresses the current surgical treatments and most promising tissue engineering approaches for articular cartilage and subchondral bone regeneration. Methods: The capability to repair osteochondral or bone defects remains a challenging goal for surgeons and researchers. So far, most clinical approaches have been shown to have limited capacity to treat severe lesions. Current surgical repair strategies vary according to the nature and size of the lesion and the preference of the operating surgeon. Tissue engineering has emerged as a promising alternative strategy that essentially develops viable substitutes capable of repairing or regenerating the functions of damaged tissue. Results: An overview of novel and most promising osteochondroconductive scaffolds, osteochondroinductive signals, osteochondrogenic precursor cells, and scaffold fixation approaches are presented addressing advantages, drawbacks, and future prospectives for osteochondral regenerative medicine. Conclusion: Tissue engineering has emerged as an excellent approach for the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue, with the potential to circumvent all the limitations of autologous and allogeneic tissue repair. Level of evidence: Systematic review, Level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1182-1191
Number of pages10
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Biomaterials
  • Growth factors
  • Osteochondral defect
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

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