Purpose: Viable meniscal transplantation has been criticized as an expensive and logistically demanding technique. The purpose was to compare the standard culture medium with another culture medium that is more widely available and easier to work with and to assess the collagen net ultrastructure architecture and the capacity of the preserved cells to produce proteins. Methods: Ten fresh lateral menisci were harvested. Each meniscus was divided into three parts; control group, fetal-bovinum-serum group and Insulin-Transferrin-Selenium group during 4 weeks. Cell metabolism was assessed with the gene expression of type I collagen, type II collagen and aggrecan. Collagen ultrastructure was assessed with transmission electron microscopy. The Collagen Meniscal Architecture scoring system was used to evaluate the degree of meniscal disarray. Results: Type I collagen was expressed more in the fetal-bovinum-serum group than in the ITS group (P = 0. 036). No differences were found between cultured samples and control groups. Type II collagen showed decreased expression in both cultured groups compared with the control group. No differences were observed in the gene expression of aggrecan in either group. No differences were observed when the Collagen Meniscal Architecture scoring system was applied. Conclusions: Insulin-Transferrin-Selenium-supplemented medium is at least as effective as the fetal-bovinum-serum-supplemented medium to preserve the net architecture of the meniscal tissue. Gene expression of the studied proteins was similar in the Insulin-Transferrin-Selenium group to that observed in the control group at 4 weeks. Insulin-Transferrin-Selenium might be a better alternative and might be used instead of fetal-bovinum-serum or an autologous host serum in order to preserve meniscal tissue, which precludes the necessity of obtaining host serum previously. Thus, viable meniscal transplantation would logistically be less complicated to perform. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
- Fetal bovine serum
- Menisci preservation
- Viable meniscal transplantation