Orthopedic Surgeons in England have successfully transplanted into a patient’s knee a 3D implant of cartilage grown from her own healthy cells, according to an article at Daily Mail. The technology used was by UK company Arthro Kinetics plc.
CaReS® (Cartilage Regeneration System), is a mechanically stable, homogeneous transplant, consisting of the biological collagen type 1 matrix.
A cartilage biopsy is taken from the patient, and 120ml of autologous blood are collected. A special courier service then delivers the materials to the production facility on the same day. Using an enzymatic process, the chondrocytes are then isolated from the patients cartilage biopsy. The chondrocytes are vital and functional as shown by the synthesis of collagen type 2 and by genetic expression analysis.
In a proprietary process, the freshly isolated chondrocytes are combined with the collagen type 1 matrix. Within minutes of combining the components, the liquid solution becomes a solid gel. The gel is incubated for 9 to 13 days. 11 to 15 days after the biopsy, CaReS® is ready for implantation. However, the Company is currently aiming to reduce the incubation period from 9 to 13 down to 5 to 8 days in order to expedite time to shipment. A special courier service ensures the timely delivery of CaReS® to the hospital for implantation into the patient at a predetermined date.
The size and form of the transplant are easily adaptable intraoperatively. Since the transplant is fixed only with fibrin glue, surgery time and incision length are reduced significantly and rehabilitation can commence earlier. CaReS® is indicated for the repair of articular joint cartilage defects of 2 to 10 cm2 in size. Rehabilitation commences one day after implantation. After a period of 6 to 12 weeks, depending on defect localization, full movement and weight bearing is restored.