Autologous cultured chondrocytes, the Carticel product, are derived from in vitro expansion of chondrocytes harvested from the patient's normal, femoral articular cartilage. Biopsies from a lesser-weight bearing area are the source of chondrocytes, which are isolated, expanded through cell culture, and implanted into articular cartilage defects beneath an autologous periosteal flap.
Carticel is indicated for the repair of symptomatic cartilage defects of the femoral condyle (medial, lateral or trochlea), caused by acute or repetitive trauma, in patients who have had an inadequate response to a prior arthroscopic or other surgical repair procedure (e.g., debridement, microfracture, drilling/abrasion arthroplasty, or osteochondral allograft/autograft).
Carticel should be used only in conjunction with debridement, placement of a periosteal flap and rehabilitation. The independent contributions of the autologous cultured chondrocytes and other components of the therapy to outcome are unknown.
Carticel is not indicated for the treatment of cartilage damage associated with generalized osteoarthritis.
Carticel is not recommended for patients with total meniscectomy unless surgically reconstructed prior to or concurrent with Carticel implantation.
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Published Studies Related to Carticel (Autologous Cultured Chondrocytes)
Prospective evaluation of serum biomarker levels and cartilage repair by autologous chondrocyte transplantation and subchondral drilling in a canine model. 
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to evaluate serum chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA) levels and the capability of cartilage repair of full-thickness cartilage defects after treatment with two different fundamental surgical techniques: autologous chondrocyte transplantation (AC) and subchondral drilling (SD)... CONCLUSIONS: AC treatment provides superior results to SD treatment, according to morphology, histology, and cartilage marker levels. AC treatment demonstrated a smoother surface, less fissure, better border integration, and a more reliable outcome of repairing cartilage. Moreover, a decreasing level of serum WF6, which correlated with good quality of the repairing tissue at the end of the follow-up period, was found predominantly in the AC group. Serum WF6 therefore should be further explored as a sensitive marker for the noninvasive therapeutic evaluation of cartilage repair procedures.
[Mechanisms of autologous chondrocytes mass transplantation in the repair of cartilage defects of rabbits' knee]. [2010.09]
OBJECTIVE: To trace the pathological changes of the cultured autologous chondrocytes mass after implanted in cartilage defects and investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms of the antologous chondrocytes mass transplantation in the repair of cartilage defects... CONCLUSION: It was evidenced that the defects were repaired by the autologous chondrocytes mass transplantation. The procedure was gradual and initialed from up toward joint to down to the deep of the defect.
Cell carriers as the next generation of cell therapy for cartilage repair: a review of the matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation procedure. [2010.06]
BACKGROUND: Since the first patient was implanted with autologous cultured chondrocytes more than 20 years ago, new variations of cell therapies for cartilage repair have appeared. Autologous chondrocyte implantation, a first-generation cell therapy, uses suspended autologous cultured chondrocytes in combination with a periosteal patch. Collagen-covered autologous cultured chondrocyte implantation, a second-generation cell therapy, uses suspended cultured chondrocytes with a collagen type I/III membrane. Today's demand for transarthroscopic procedures has resulted in the development of third-generation cell therapies that deliver autologous cultured chondrocytes using cell carriers or cell-seeded scaffolds. PURPOSE: To review the current evidence of the matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation procedure, the most widely used carrier system to date. Also discussed are the characteristics of type I/III collagen membranes, behavior of cells associated with the membrane, surgical technique, rehabilitation, clinical outcomes, and quality of repair tissue. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review... CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation is a promising third-generation cell therapy for the repair of symptomatic, full-thickness articular cartilage defects.
Quantitative analysis of collagen network structure and fibril dimensions in cartilage repair with autologous chondrocyte transplantation. 
CONCLUSION: Following ACT, V(V) and S(V) increased in the repair tissue with time, reflecting maturation of the tissue. One year after the operation, there was a lower level of fibril organization in the repair tissue than in the control cartilage. Thus, the newly synthesized collagen fibrils in the repair tissue appeared to form a denser network than in the control cartilage, but the fibrils remained more randomly oriented. Copyright (c) 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Generative surgery of cultured autologous auricular chondrocytes for nasal augmentation. [2009.11]
BACKGROUND: Conventional treatment for nasal augmentation utilizes autologous grafts, allografts, or synthetic implants such as silicon implants. Silicon implants could protrude/expose or induce nasal bone resorption. Autologous grafts are usually associated with donor site morbidity and the volume of harvested tissue is limited. We had developed a new method for nasal augmentation using cultured autologous chondrocytes (CAC). The current report presents the results of a study using that method with a larger number of patients and an improved graft technique for the nasal tip... CONCLUSION: Grafting of CAC is an optional method for nasal augmentation and could be used for a wide range of facial augmentation cases.
Clinical Trials Related to Carticel (Autologous Cultured Chondrocytes)
Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells vs. Chondrocytes for the Repair of Chondral Knee Defects [Not yet recruiting]
Autologous Chondrocyte Intra-articular Implantation in Patients With Severe Hip Osteoarthritis [Recruiting]
Hip osteoarthritis is degeneration of hip cartilage and inflammation of subchondral bone and
soft tissue linings. Patients have pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty walking. There
are treatments available to help manage these symptoms like weight loss, and analgesics.
Surgery is the appropriate treatment in patients who have failed these conservative
treatments. The aim of this clinical study is to assess safety of autologous cultured
chondrocyte intra-articular injection and obtain its clinical results in patients with
severe hip osteoarthritis.
Reports of Suspected Carticel (Autologous Cultured Chondrocytes) Side Effects
Joint Swelling (7),
Graft Complication (6),
Treatment Failure (5),
Wrong Device Used (3),
Joint Effusion (3),
Arthritis Infective (3),
Loose Body in Joint (2),
Wound Dehiscence (2), more >>
Page last updated: 2014-10-06