VEGF, BMP-7, MatrigelTM, Hyaluronic Acid, In Vitro Cultured Chondrocytes and Trephination for Healing of the Avascular Portion of the Meniscus. An Experimental Study in Sheep
Francisco Forriol, Umile Giuseppe Longo, Julio Duart, Purification Ripalda, Javier Vaquero, Mattia Loppini, Giovanni Romeo, Stefano Campi, Wasim S. Khan, Andrea O. Muda and Vincenzo Denaro
Affiliation: University Campus Bio- Medico of Rome, Italy.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of VEGF, BMP-7, MatrigelTM, hyaluronic acid, in vitro cultured
chondrocytes and trephination to promote and enhance the healing process of avascular meniscal tears in an
animal model. Methods: A longitudinal tear was produced in the inner avascular part 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. At 8 weeks
from surgery, meniscal samples were explanted and 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.
Keywords: BMP-7, cell-therapy, healing, growth factors, meniscus, repair.
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