Viral Inactivation of Human Osteochondral Grafts with Methylene Blue and Light

Cartilage. 2014 Jan;5(1):28-36. doi: 10.1177/1947603513509650.


Objective: Cartilage injury is one of the most common disorders of synovial joints. Fresh osteochondral allografts are becoming a standard treatment; however, they are supply constrained with a potential risk of disease transmission. There are no known virucidal processes available for osteochondral allografts and most methods presently available are detrimental to cartilage. Methylene blue light treatment has been shown to be successful in the literature for viral inactivation of fresh frozen plasma. The purpose of this study was to determine the capacity of methylene blue light treatment to inactivate a panel of clinically relevant viruses inoculated onto osteochondral allografts.

Design: Osteochondral grafts recovered from human cadaveric knees were inoculated with one of the following viruses: bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), hepatitis A virus (HAV), human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), porcine parvovirus (PPV), and pseudorabies virus (PrV). The samples were processed through a methylene blue light treatment, which consisted of an initial soak in nonilluminated circulating methylene blue at ambient temperature, followed by light exposure with circulating methylene blue at cool temperatures. The final titer was compared with the recovery control for the viral log reduction.

Results: HIV-1, BVDV, and PrV were reduced to nondetectable levels while HAV and PPV were reduced by 3.1 and 5.6 logs, respectively.

Conclusions: The methylene blue light treatment was effective in reducing (a) enveloped DNA and RNA viruses to nondetectable levels and (b) nonenveloped DNA and RNA viruses of inoculated human osteochondral grafts by 3.1 to 5.6 logs. This study demonstrates the first practical method for significantly reducing viral load in osteochondral implants.

Keywords: allograft; methylene blue; osteochondral; viral inactivation.