Tissue engineering for total meniscal substitution: Animal study in sheep model-results at 12 months

Elizaveta Kon, Giuseppe Filardo, Matilde Tschon, Milena Fini, Gianluca Giavaresi, Leonardo Marchesini Reggiani, Catharina Chiari, Stefan Nehrer, Ivan Martin, Donald M. Salter, Luigi Ambrosio, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to investigate the use of a hyaluronic acid/polycaprolactone material for meniscal tissue engineering and to evaluate the tissue regeneration after the augmentation of the implant with expanded autologous chondrocytes. Eighteen skeletally mature sheep were treated. The animals were divided into three groups: cell-free scaffold, scaffold seeded with autologous chondrocytes, and meniscectomy alone. The implant was sutured to the capsule and to the meniscal ligament. At a 12-month gross assessment, histology and histomorphometry were used to assess the meniscus implant, knee joint, and osteoarthritis development. All implants showed excellent capsular ingrowth at the periphery. The implant gross assessment showed significant differences between cell-seeded and cell-free groups (p=0.011). The histological analysis indicated a cellular colonization throughout the implanted constructs. Avascular cartilaginous tissue formation was significantly more frequent in the cell-seeded constructs. Joint gross assessment showed that sheep treated with scaffold implantation achieved a significant higher score than those underwent meniscectomy (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1582
Number of pages10
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Medicine(all)


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