Effect on tissue differentiation and articular cartilage degradation of a polymer meniscus implant: A 2-year follow-up study in dogs.
until further notice
SourceAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine, 36, 10, (2008), pp. 1978-1989
Article / Letter to editor
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Centre for Quality of Care Research
American Journal of Sports Medicine
SubjectNCMLS 1: Immunity, infection and tissue repair; NCMLS 3: Tissue engineering and pathology; UMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology
BACKGROUND: Replacement of the meniscus by an implant could potentially avoid cartilage degeneration. HYPOTHESIS: An implant of degradable polycaprolacton-polyurethane should act as a temporary scaffold enabling regeneration of a new meniscus by slow degradation of the polymer and simultaneous in-growth and differentiation of tissues into the typical cartilage-like tissue of the meniscus. STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study. METHODS: In 13 dogs' knees, the lateral meniscus was replaced with a porous polymer implant (6 and 7 for 6- and 24-month follow-up, respectively); in 7 knees only a meniscectomy was performed. In 6 knees, no surgery was performed. After 6 and 24 months, the implants and the articular cartilage were histologically evaluated. Compression-stress tests were performed on implant biopsy specimens. RESULTS: The implants were fully integrated into the tissue without formation of a capsule. The foreign body reaction did not exceed grade I. Differentiation from fibrous- to cartilage-like tissue was pronounced after 24 months. Viable cells were particularly absent after 24 months in central parts of the most anterior part of the scaffold. The mechanical properties of the implants were intermediate between the scaffold before implantation and native meniscus tissue and were not different between 6 and 24 months. After both 6 and 24 months, small areas of the implant were not covered with tissue. Cartilage degeneration was not prevented. CONCLUSION: A final remodeling of tissue into neomeniscus tissue could not take place since the original structure of the polymer was still present after 24 months. The implant did not prevent cartilage degradation. Several factors are discussed that may be responsible for this. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Although clinical application of a polymer implant for the replacement of the entire meniscus is not supported by this study, the authors strongly believe in the concept, but further improvements in the implant and surgical technique are needed before such an implant can be recommended for human clinical use.
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