Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 385–397 | Cite as

The Effect of Osteochondral Regeneration Using Polymer Constructs and Continuous Passive Motion Therapy in the Lower Weight-Bearing Zone of Femoral Trocheal Groove in Rabbits

  • Nai-Jen Chang
  • Chih-Chan Lin
  • Chien-Feng Li
  • Kai Su
  • Ming-Long YehEmail author


Remedying patellofemoral osteochondral defects using clinical therapy remains challenging. Construct-based and cell-based regenerative medicine with in vitro physical stimuli has been progressively implemented. However, the effect of physical stimuli in situ in knee joints with degradable constructs is still not well-documented. Therefore, we studied whether it was practical to achieve articular cartilage repair using a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) construct in addition to early short-term continuous passive motion (CPM) for treatment of full-thickness osteochondral defects in the lower-weigh bearing (LWB) zone of the femoral trocheal groove. Twenty-six rabbits were randomly allocated into either intermittent active motion (IAM) or CPM treatment groups with or without PLGA constructs, termed PLGA construct-implanted (PCI) and empty defect knee models, respectively. Gross observation, histology, inflammatory cells, which were identified using H&E staining, total collagen and alignment, studied qualitatively using Masson’s trichrome staining, glycosaminoglycan (GAG), identified using Alcian blue staining, and newly formed bone, observed using micro-CT, were evaluated at 4 and 12 weeks after surgery. Repair of osteochondral defects in the PCI-CPM group was more promising than all other groups. The better osteochondral defect repair in the PCI-CPM group corresponded to smooth cartilage surfaces, no inflammatory reaction, hyaline cartilaginous tissues composition, sound collagen alignment with positive collagen type II expression, higher GAG content, mature bone regeneration with osteocyte, clear tidemark formation, and better degradation of PLGA. In summary, the use of a simple PLGA construct coupled with passive motion promotes positive healing and may be a promising clinical intervention for osteochondral regeneration in LWB defects.


Cartilage Biomaterial Regenerative medicine Physical therapy Animal model 



This work was supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan, R.O.C. (99-2627-B006-009- and 99-2627-B006-018).

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10439_2012_656_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (521 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 522 kb)


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nai-Jen Chang
    • 1
  • Chih-Chan Lin
    • 2
  • Chien-Feng Li
    • 3
  • Kai Su
    • 4
  • Ming-Long Yeh
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Biomedical EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainan CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Laboratory Animal Center, Department of Medical ResearchChi-Mei Medical CenterTainan CityTaiwan
  3. 3.Division of Clinical Pathology, Department of PathologyChi-Mei Medical CenterTainan CityTaiwan
  4. 4.Division of Bioengineering and Biomedical EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  5. 5.Medical Device Innovation CenterNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainan CityTaiwan

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