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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London
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School of Engineering and Materials Science
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PhD Thesis: Evaluation of novel polymer for articular cartilage repair

Author: SALIH, Vehid

Year: 1998

Supervisor(s): Dan Bader, David Lee

This thesis describes both the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of three biomaterials as potential candidates for the repair of full-thickness articular cartilage defects. The biomaterials were synthesised from naturally occurring products. Biopol® was synthesised from a polymer produced by micro-organisms. Collastat® and Gelfoam®, both collagen sponges, were derived from animal tissues.
Bovine and lapine articular chondrocytes were seeded onto the biomaterials and maintained in vitro. The cell-seeded biomaterials, known as constructs, were evaluated by light microscopy, immunocytochemistry, and biochemical assays. Results indicated that all three materials could maintain both bovine and lapine chondrocytes up to one month.

Lapine allogenic articular chondrocytes were seeded onto 3mm diameter plugs of Biopol® and Collastat®, maintained in vitro for 7 days. Both seeded constructs and non-seeded controls of each material were then implanted into the knees of mature New Zealand White rabbits. Implant periods were 1,3 and 6 months. All control defects demonstrated progressive repair and hypertrophic chondrocytes were observed in this tissue. In addition, seeded implants generally produced a more organised repair architecture. In some cases, a zonal arrangement was observed. After 6 months implantation, there was evidence of degeneration of repair tissue. There was no discernible difference between the repair tissue produced by either material over the implantation period.

The results described in this thesis indicate that allogenic chrondrocyte transplantation using biomaterial constructs may be a suitable method for treating osteochondral lesions in articular cartilage.