Biomimetic structured surfaces increase primary adhesion capacity of cartilage implants

Technol Health Care. 2015;23(2):205-13. doi: 10.3233/THC-140884.


Background: In cartilage repair, scaffold-assisted single-step techniques are used to improve the cartilage regeneration. Nevertheless, the fixation of cartilage implants represents a challenge in orthopaedics, particularly in the moist conditions that pertain during arthroscopic surgery. Within the animal kingdom a broad range of species has developed working solutions to intermittent adhesion under challenging conditions. Using a top-down approach we identified promising mechanisms for biomimetic transfer

Objective: The tree-frog adhesive system served as a test case to analyze the adhesion capacity of a polyglycolic acid (PGA) scaffold with and without a structural modification in a bovine articular cartilage defect model.

Methods: To this end, PGA implants were modified with a simplified foot-pad structure and evaluated on femoral articular bovine cartilage lesions. Non-structured PGA scaffolds were used as control. Both implants were pressed on 20 mm × 20 mm full-thickness femoral cartilage defects using a dynamometer.

Results: The structured scaffolds showed a higher adhesion capacity on the cartilage defect than the non-structured original scaffolds.

Conclusions: The results suggest that the adhesion ability can be increased by means of biomimetic structured surfaces without the need of additional chemical treatment and thus significantly facilitate primary fixation procedures.

Keywords: Cell-free implant; adhesion; bio-inspired functional surface; biomimetic; cartilage defect; cartilage regeneration; tree frog.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Animals
  • Biomimetic Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Cartilage, Articular / growth & development*
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cattle
  • Polyglycolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Tissue Scaffolds*


  • Polyglycolic Acid