Giuseppe Michele Peretti, Umberto Polito, Mauro Di Giancamillo, Maria Elena Andreis, Federica Boschetti, Alessia Di Giancamillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Menisci are subjected to different pathologies that affected the knee proper functions and biology. Over the years, different techniques were tried to repair meniscus injury, and, when the reparation was not possible, to replace or regenerate it. These techniques still present a lack of controlled and independent clinical studies that not allow identifying their effective failure rate. This rate could be due to a still incomplete knowledge about meniscal biology, its composition and biomechanical properties. The purpose of this study was to analyse the relationship between the contact forces and the meniscal structures at the level of the femoral and tibial surfaces of the meniscus to improve the knowledge about this tissue, in view of the possible application in tissue engineering, for the production of meniscal scaffolds. Swine meniscal samples were studied for morphological (Safranin-O, Sirius Red and collagen type I and II), biochemical (DNA, GAGs and GAGs/DNA ratio), CT scanning and biomechanical analyses (compression and traction tests) of femoral and tibial meniscal surfaces. Results revealed a biomechanical-dependent characterization of the meniscus. The femoral surface is characterized by a higher quantity of GAGs and a greater amount of cells (p<0.01 for each analysis), with the interposition of radial and oblique fibres. These features are responsible of a higher resistance (p<0.05) to compressive forces like that acted on by the femoral condyles. Oppositely, the tibial surface shows a circumferential arrangement of the fibres and a poorer GAGs presence and cellular spread (p<0.01); these characteristics seem to allow a higher resistance (p<0.05) of the tibial surface to traction forces. Results from this work provide useful information for the design and creation of meniscal substitute and suggest that the features of the meniscus are biomechanical-dependent and that its composition and structure are dependent to the different forces that femur and tibia generate upon its surfaces. The importance of the present study is linked to how the contact forces act on the knee meniscus in particular considering the femoral condyles and tibial plateau: these results can be useful for the tissue-engineering of meniscus, providing information about meniscal biology, its composition and biomechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-989
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A.
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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