Is Matrix Assisted Chondrocyte Implantation Better Than Stem Cells… Probably Not!

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Is Matrix Assisted Chondrocyte Implantation Better Than Stem Cells… Probably Not!



One procedure that has been used to try to make chondrocyte (cartilage cell) implantation more successful is matrix-assisted autologous (a patient’s own) chondrocyte implantation. This technique uses a biomaterial- either natural or synthetic- as a chondrocyte carrier that is implanted into the area of damage. Many of these MACI systems use growth factors attached to scaffolds to promote growth of chondrocytes. Sometimes patients have other therapies administered after the procedure such as pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and continuous passive motion. Results to date are encouraging but so far most of the patients have been relatively young. Whether this option will work for older patients with older chondrocytes is still not known. Attempts to make this work in extensive cartilage damage conditions such as osteoarthritis have not been as encouraging as stem cell procedures.
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