Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of VEGF, BMP-7, MatrigelTM, hyaluronic acid, in vitro cultured chondrocytes and trephination in an animal model to improve healing of avascular meniscal tears.
Methods: A longitudinal tear was produced in the avascular portion of the meniscus of 24 sheeps. Each tear was treated with trephination technique and suture. The animals were divided into 6 groups to receive a different treatment: control (I); VEGF, BMP-7, MatrigelTM, hyaluronic acid, in vitro cultured chondrocytes. Meniscal samples were collected after 8 weeks, and the samples were analyzed by histology, immunohistochemistry, and histomorphometry.
Results: At the histological examination, Group IV and VI showed a partial closure of the meniscal lesion, whereas Group I, II, III, and V did not show any evidence of healing. In the group IV, the healed tissue represented the 22.95% of the lesion area. In the group VI, the healed tissue represented the 43.75% of the lesion area.
Conclusions: Autologous chondrocytes and BMP-7 associated with trephination and suture techniques enhanced healing process of meniscal tears in the avascular inner third of the meniscus in ovine model
BMP-7, cell-therapy, growth factors, healing, meniscus, repair
Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery Campus Bio-Medico University Via Alvaro del Portillo, 200 00128 Trigoria, Rome, Italy