Clinical translation of emerging technologies aiming at cartilage resurfacing is hindered by neither the appropriate scaffold design nor the optimal cell source having been defined. Here, critical-sized, chondral-only focal defects were created in sheep and treated with clinical-grade, co-polymeric poly-lactide:polyglycolic acid scaffolds either alone or seeded with 3.3 × 106 ± 0.4 × 106 autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells and studied over 12 month follow-up. An untreated group was included for comparison. Second-look arthroscopy performed at 4 months post-treatment evidenced the generation of neocartilage of better quality in those defects treated with cells. However, macroscopic scores in the cell-treated group declined significantly from 7.5 ± 2.3 at 4 months to 3.1 ± 2.6 (p = 0.0098) at 12 months post-treatment, whereas the other two experimental groups remained unaltered during 4-12 month post-treatment. The effectiveness of the cell-based approach proposed in this study is thus restricted to between months 1 and 4 post-treatment. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
- Critical-sized chondral defect
- Mesenchymal stromal cells
- Polylactide:polyglycolic acid preclinical animal model
- Regenerative medicine
- Second-look arthroscopy