Boguslaw Sadlik, M.D., Ph.D., Grzegorz Jaroslawski, M.D., Mariusz Puszkarz, M.D., Adrian Blasiak, M.D., Ph.D., Tomasz Oldak, Ph.D., Dominika Gladysz, M.D., and Graeme P. Whyte, M.D., M.Sc.
Abstract: Cell-based cartilage repair procedures are becoming more widely available and have shown promising potential to treat a wide range of cartilage lesion types and sizes, particularly in the knee joint. More recently, techniques have evolved from 2-step techniques that use autologous chondrocyte expansion to 1-step techniques that make use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) embedded onto biocompatible scaffolding. Our 1-step technique has been further developed to provide cell-based cartilage repair using MSCs that have the potential to be used in an off-the-shelf manner, without the need for autologous tissue harvest. Precursor MSCs can be isolated in abundance from the Wharton’s jelly of umbilical cord tissue. These cells have been shown to have the desired capacity for proliferation, differentiation, and release of trophic factors that make them an excellent candidate for use in the clinical setting to provide cell-based restoration of hyaline-like cartilage. Although allogeneic in nature, these cells stimulate little or no host immune response and can be stored for long periods while maintaining viability. We present a technique of cartilage repair in the knee using Wharton’s jelly–derived MSCs embedded onto scaffolding and implanted in a minimally invasive fashion using dry arthroscopy.