Cartilage repair: synthetics and scaffolds: basic science, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes

Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2008 Dec;16(4):208-16. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0b013e31818cdbaa.


Symptomatic articular cartilage lesions have gained attention and clinical interest in recent years and can be difficult to treat. Historically, various biologic surgical treatment options have yielded inconsistent results because of the inferior biomechanical properties associated with a variable healing response. Improving technology and surgical advances has generated considerable research in cartilage resurfacing and optimizing hyaline tissue restoration. Biologic innovation and tissue engineering in cartilage repair have used matrix scaffolds, autologous and allogenic chondrocytes, cartilage grafts, growth factors, stem cells, and genetic engineering. Numerous evolving technologies and surgical approaches have been introduced into the clinical setting. This review will discuss the basic science, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes of novel synthetic materials and scaffolds for articular cartilage repair.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthroplasty / methods
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / surgery*
  • Chondrocytes / transplantation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Fractures, Cartilage / surgery
  • Graft Rejection
  • Graft Survival
  • Growth Substances / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds
  • Tissue Transplantation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Growth Substances