Different methods have been used to improve chondrocyte transplantation for the repair of articular cartilage defects. Several groups of biomaterials have been proposed as support for in vitro cell growth and for in vivo implantation. Here. we describe a new approach investigating the healing of rabbit cartilage by means of autologous chondrocytes seeded on a hyaluronan derivative referred to as Hyaff-11. Full thickness defects were created bilaterally in the weight-bearing surface of the medial femoral condyle of both femora of New Zealand male rabbits. The wounds were then repaired using both chondrocytes seeded on the biomaterial and biomaterial alone. Controls were similarly treated but received either no treatment or implants of the delivery substance. Histologic samples from in and around the defect sites were examined 1, 3 and 6 months after surgery and were scored from 0 to 16. Statistically significant differences in the quality of the regenerated tissue were found between the grafts carried out with biomaterial carrying chondrocyte cells compared to the biomaterial alone or controls. This study demonstrates the efficacy of this hyaluronan-based scaffold for autologous chondrocytes transplantation.