Experimental assessment of biological potential of collagen membranes in reconstruction of full-thickness hyaline cartilage defects
Investigation of the efficacy of collagen membranes used in the full-thickness hyaline cartilage defect surgery is extremely urgent from the point of view of everyday healthcare. However, there is no information about the collagen membrane transformation timeframe, patterns and type of tissue the membrane transforms into, nor on the quality of the newly formed cartilage, which hinders the use of collagen membranes in clinical practice. This study aimed to investigate the biological potential of collagen membranes and their capacity to transform into cartilage tissue. The study involved four pigs as subjects. We induced a full-thickness cartilage defect on their right hind limb joint and implanted an Ortokeep collagen membrane to remedy it. Two full-thickness cartilage defects were induced on the left hind limb joints of the animals, one was treated with an implanted Chondro-Gide collagen membrane, the other remained without a membrane. The animals were withdrawn from the experiment at 2, 3, 4, 6 months after the operation. This report contains results of the macroscopic and microscopic analyses revealing the character of cartilage tissue regeneration at various timepoints post-surgery. The collagen membranes proved to have a high biological potential and a capacity to transform into cartilage tissue. The cartilages were identifiable from the 3rd month of the study. Their thickness was growing significantly (p < 0.05) up to the 4th month post-surgery, gaining 18.7% in group 1 and 12.8% in group 2; afterwards, the formed tissue "matured". We have shown that the AMIC technique allows significant (p < 0.05) reduction of the bone tissue destruction area.
Keywords: knee joint, osteochondral defect, cartilage, local defect, AMIC technology, collagen membrane, mosaicplasty