Meniscal Repair With Fibrocartilage Engineering

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Injuries to the knee meniscus, particularly those in the avascular region, pose a complex problem and a possible solution is tissue engineering of a replacement tissue. Tissue engineering of the meniscus involves scaffold selection, addition of cells, and stimulation of the construct to synthesize, maintain, or enhance matrix production. An acellular collagen implant is currently in clinical trials and there are promising results with other scaffolds, composed of both polymeric and natural materials. The addition of cells to these constructs may promote good matrix production in vitro, but has been studied in a limited manner in animal studies. Cell sources ranging from fibroblasts to stem cells could be used to overcome challenges in cell procurement, expansion, and synthetic capacity currently encountered in studies with fibrochondrocytes. Manipulation of construct culture with exogenous growth factors and mechanical stimulation will also likely play a role in these strategies.

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