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Online ISSN 1827-1707
Albisetti W., Sala C., Corbella M., Aloja A., Angaroni F.
Background. The authors used histological analysis to evaluate the growth and biointegration of chondrocytes in coralline hydroxyapatite, a biomaterial currently used as a bone substitute, with the aim of identifying a material that could be used to transplant a cellular suspension in an osteocartilaginous defect. This would allow a new approach to the surgical treatment of osteochondral defects.
Methods. 72 C57B strain rats were used in this experimental study. The rats were sacrificed at 4 days old and used to obtain 152 chondrocyte cultures by removal of the distal femoral and proximal tibial chondroepiphysis. Chondrocyte cells were cultured for 15 days. Samples of coralline hydroxyapatite were then added to give a total of 72 units. After a further 7 days, the coralline samples were decalcified and they underwent histological analysis using hematoxylin-eosin staining.
Results. The histological sections obtained showed a good level of chondrocyte-coral integration and three-dimensional culture growth, without revealing phenotype alterations to the chondrocytes themselves.
Conclusions. Surgery used to repair osteocartilaginous defects could benefit enormously from the use of this biomaterial which, thanks to the attachment of chondrocytes to the coralline matrix, serves as a substrate for chondrocyte culture and growth and as well a vehicle for chondrocyte suspension in subchondral grafts used to repair lesions.