At present there is no satisfactory treatment for deep osteochondral defects. Here we report the development of a biologic prosthetic composite containing periosteum from 2-month-old rabbits and a porous tantalum scaffold. When cultured under chondrogenic conditions, the composites form a robust hyaline-like cartilage outgrowth that is attached to the porous scaffold by fibrous tissue ingrowth. The mechanical properties of these composites are similar to those of normal osteochondral plugs after only 6 weeks in culture. Thus, porous tantalum scaffolds are compatible with the chondrogenic capacity of periosteum. We hypothesize that these periosteum-porous tantalum composites will be useful for the repair of major osteochondral defects. However, in vivo experiments using biological resurfacing of large osteochondral defects with a porous tantalum scaffold and autologous periosteal graft in animal models are necessary to further explore this possibility. The implications of a successful method for cartilage regeneration would be great in terms of the number of patients affected and the quality of life for each of those patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology