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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 5 | Pages 565 - 576
1 May 2009
Getgood A Brooks R Fortier L Rushton N

Articular cartilage repair remains a challenge to surgeons and basic scientists. The field of tissue engineering allows the simultaneous use of material scaffolds, cells and signalling molecules to attempt to modulate the regenerative tissue. This review summarises the research that has been undertaken to date using this approach, with a particular emphasis on those techniques that have been introduced into clinical practice, via in vitro and preclinical studies.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 90-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1635 - 1640
1 Dec 2008
Spence G Phillips S Campion C Brooks R Rushton N

Carbonate-substituted hydroxyapatite (CHA) is more osteoconductive and more resorbable than hydroxyapatite (HA), but the underlying mode of its action is unclear. We hypothesised that increased resorption of the ceramic by osteoclasts might subsequently upregulate osteoblasts by a coupling mechanism, and sought to test this in a large animal model.

Defects were created in both the lateral femoral condyles of 12 adult sheep. Six were implanted with CHA granules bilaterally, and six with HA. Six of the animals in each group received the bisphosphonate zoledronate (0.05 mg/kg), which inhibits the function of osteoclasts, intra-operatively.

After six weeks bony ingrowth was greater in the CHA implants than in HA, but not in the animals given zoledronate. Functional osteoclasts are necessary for the enhanced osteoconduction seen in CHA compared with HA.