Repair of meniscal cartilage with stem cells

Biomaterials. 2010 Mar; 31(9) : 2583-91. Epub 2010 Jan 6.
Repair of meniscal cartilage white zone tears using a stem cell/collagen-scaffold implant.

Pabbruwe MB, Kafienah W, Tarlton JF, Mistry S, Fox DJ, Hollander AP.
Department of Clinical Science at North Bristol, University of Bristol, UK.

Abstract
Injuries to the avascular region of knee meniscal cartilage do not heal spontaneously. To address this problem we have developed a new stem cell/collagen-scaffold implant system in which human adult bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells are seeded onto a biodegradable scaffold that allows controlled delivery of actively dividing cells to the meniscus surface. Sandwich constructs of two white zone ovine meniscus discs with stem cell/collagen-scaffold implant in between were cultured in vitro for 40 days. Histomorphometric analysis revealed superior integration in the stem cell/collagenscaffold groups compared to the cell-free collagen membrane or untreated controls. The addition of TGF-beta1 to differentiate stem cells to chondrocytes inhibited integration. Biomechanical testing demonstrated a significant 2-fold increase in tensile strength in all constructs using the stem cell/collagen-scaffold compared to control groups after 40 days in culture. Integration was significantly higher when collagen membranes were used that had a more open/spongy structure adjacent to both meniscal cartilage surfaces, whereas a collagen scaffold designed for osteoinduction failed to induce any integration of meniscus. In conclusion, the stem cell/collagen-scaffold implant is a potential therapeutic treatment for the repair of white zone meniscal cartilage tears.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 20053438 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]