The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of a novel recombinant human type II collagen/polylactide scaffold (rhCo-PLA) in the repair of full-thickness cartilage lesions with autologous chondrocyte implantation technique (ACI). The forming repair tissue was compared to spontaneous healing (spontaneous) and repair with a commercial porcine type I/III collagen membrane (pCo). Domestic pigs (4-month-old, n = 20) were randomized into three study groups and a circular full-thickness chondral lesion with a diameter of 8 mm was created in the right medial femoral condyle. After 3 weeks, the chondral lesions were repaired with either rhCo-PLA or pCo together with autologous chondrocytes, or the lesion was only debrided and left untreated for spontaneous repair. The repair tissue was evaluated 4 months after the second operation. Hyaline cartilage formed most frequently in the rhCo-PLA treatment group. Biomechanically, there was a trend that both treatment groups resulted in better repair tissue than spontaneous healing. Adverse subchondral bone reactions developed less frequently in the spontaneous group (40%) and the rhCo-PLA treated group (50%) than in the pCo control group (100%). However, no statistically significant differences were found between the groups. The novel rhCo-PLA biomaterial showed promising results in this proof-of-concept study, but further studies will be needed in order to determine its effectiveness in articular cartilage repair. © 2015 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:745–753, 2016.