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Publication - Professor John Tarlton

    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, 2010, ‘Repair of meniscal cartilage white zone tears using a stem cell/collagen-scaffold implant’. Biomaterials, vol 31., pp. 2583 - 2591


    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/collagen-scaffold 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.

    Full details in the University publications repository