Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate for the Treatment of Avascular Meniscus Tears in a One-Step Procedure-Evaluation of an In Vivo Model

Matthias Koch, Selma Hammer, Julian Fuellerer, Siegmund Lang, Christian G Pfeifer, Girish Pattappa, Johannes Weber, Markus Loibl, Michael Nerlich, Peter Angele, Johannes Zellner
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2019 March 5, 20 (5)
Avascular meniscus tears show poor intrinsic regenerative potential. Thus, lesions within this area predispose the patient to developing knee osteoarthritis. Current research focuses on regenerative approaches using growth factors or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to enhance healing capacity within the avascular meniscus zone. The use of MSCs especially as progenitor cells and a source of growth factors has shown promising results. However, present studies use bone-marrow-derived BMSCs in a two-step procedure, which is limiting the transfer in clinical praxis. So, the aim of this study was to evaluate a one-step procedure using bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), containing BMSCs, for inducing the regeneration of avascular meniscus lesions. Longitudinal meniscus tears of 4 mm in size of the lateral New Zealand White rabbit meniscus were treated with clotted autologous PRP (platelet-rich plasma) or BMAC and a meniscus suture or a meniscus suture alone. Menisci were harvested at 6 and 12 weeks after initial surgery. Macroscopical and histological evaluation was performed according to an established Meniscus Scoring System. BMAC significantly enhanced regeneration of the meniscus lesions in a time-dependent manner and in comparison to the PRP and control groups, where no healing could be observed. Treatment of avascular meniscus lesions with BMAC and meniscus suturing seems to be a promising approach to promote meniscus regeneration in the avascular zone using a one-step procedure.

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