Cartilage has a limited capacity for self repair after injury. This biological deficiency has led to a variety of surgical attempts to improve the repair of injured articular cartilage surfaces over the past 50 years. The first example of clinical cartilage tissue engineering was performed in 1987 when a knee with an articular cartilage defect on the femoral condyle was treated by implanting the patient's own chondrocytes that had been expanded in vitro into the defect in combination with a covering mechanical membrane-the periosteum. This technology is either termed autologous chondrocyte transplantation (ACT) or autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI). Today, many modifications of the technique exist, from the first generation to now second and third generations of chondrocyte implantation. This paper describes the basic techniques for the clinical use of chondrocyte implantation and gives an update on the clinical results.