Ultrasound-Guided Harvesting of Synovium for Regenerative Medicine of Cartilage and Meniscus Using Synovial Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Arthrosc Tech. 2021 Jun 20;10(7):e1723-e1727. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2021.03.020. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy for cartilage or meniscus pathologies, including osteoarthritis, requires the easy and safe collection of MSC source materials. Synovial MSCs are attractive cell sources for joint pathology because of their high proliferative and chondrogenic potential in vitro and in vivo. We developed an ultrasound-guided harvesting procedure for synovium for the regenerative medicine of cartilage and meniscus. A ∼1-cm skin incision is made at the proximal side of the patellae, and a forceps is inserted under ultrasound guidance of the suprapatellar pouch to grasp the synovium. Here, several synovium samples were retrieved and transported sterilely for culture at the cell-processing facility. After a 14-day culture of the nucleated cells, crystal violet confirmed colony formation. Cell growth was enough for MSC therapy of joint pathology (0.89 ± 0.06 × 106 cells/dish). No adverse events occurred during synovium harvesting. A key advantage of this procedure is its minimal invasiveness, as synovium is harvested from a 1-cm skin incision in the knee joint. A disadvantage is the possible risk of hemostasis, as arresting bleeding at the synovial harvest site is difficult, even though the suprapatellar pouch contains no major vessels.