Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are pluripotent stem cells with the ability to differentiate into a variety of other connective tissue cells, such as chondral, bony, muscular, and tendon tissue. Bone marrow-derived MSCs are pluripotent cells that can differentiate among others into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes.Bone marrow-derived cells may represent the future in osteochondral repair. A one-step arthroscopic technique is developed for cartilage repair, using a device to concentrate bone marrow-derived cells and collagen powder or hyaluronic acid membrane as scaffolds for cell support and platelet gel.The rationale of the "one-step technique" is to transplant the entire bone-marrow cellular pool instead of isolated and expanded mesenchymal stem cells allowing cells to be processed directly in the operating room, without the need for a laboratory phase. For an entirely arthroscopic implantation are employed a scaffold and the instrumentation previously applied for ACI; in addition to these devices, autologous platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is added in order to provide a supplement of growth factors. Results of this technique are encouraging at mid-term although long-term follow-up is still needed.
Keywords: Ankle; Arthroscopy; Bone marrow; Cartilage repair; Stem cells.