Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) is the most widely used cell-based surgical procedure for the repair of articular cartilage defects. Challenges to successful ACI outcomes include limitation in defect size and geometry as well as inefficient cell retention. Second-generation ACI procedures have thus focused on developing three-dimensional constructs using native and synthetic biomaterials. Clinically significant and satisfactory results from applying autologous chondrocytes seeded in fibrin within a biodegradable polymeric material were recently reported. In the future, third-generation cell-based articular cartilage repair should focus on the use of chondroprogenitor cells and biofunctionalized biomaterials for more extensive and permanent repair.