Cell Seeding Densities in Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation Techniques for Cartilage Repair

Cartilage. 2012 Apr;3(2):108-17. doi: 10.1177/1947603511435522.


Cartilage repair techniques have been among the most intensively investigated treatments in orthopedics for the past decade, and several different treatment modalities are currently available. Despite the extensive research effort within this field, the generation of hyaline cartilage remains a considerable challenge. There are many parameters attendant to each of the cartilage repair techniques that can affect the amount and types of reparative tissue generated in the cartilage defect, and some of the most fundamental of these parameters have yet to be fully investigated. For procedures in which in vitro-cultured autologous chondrocytes are implanted under a periosteal or synthetic membrane cover, or seeded onto a porous membrane or scaffold, little is known about how the number of cells affects the clinical outcome. Few published clinical studies address the cell seeding density that was employed. The principal objective of this review is to provide an overview of the cell seeding densities used in cell-based treatments currently available in the clinic for cartilage repair. Select preclinical studies that have informed the use of specific cell seeding densities in the clinic are also discussed.

Keywords: autologous cartilage implantation; cartilage repair; cell seeding density.