Emerging Technologies in Cartilage Repair

  • Mats BrittbergEmail author


It has been almost 60 years since Pridie described subchondral drilling technology in 1959 and 30 years since the first human chondrocyte implantation was performed in cartilage repair in 1987. The techniques of today still consist of repairing defects in cartilage and subchondral bone with fibrocartilaginous tissue. The dream scenario is to find a method that regenerates the defect area, meaning that the repair would be identical in structure to the surrounding native cartilage. However, none of the existing or developing techniques are even close to producing cartilage regeneration, even though many companies use the word ‘regeneration’ when presenting their method of cartilage repair. Emerging technologies are still mainly just modifications of old techniques with improvements in the repair tissue filling and structure, as well as allowing arthroscopic and one-stage procedures. In this chapter, biological, synthetic, and small metal implants are discussed, and techniques that will be used more in the near future are also presented and discussed. We note that some interesting biological techniques involving the use of growth factors will be added to the orthopedic tool box if they are successful in randomized trials.


Emerging technologies Cartilage repair Cartilage tissue engineering Chondrocyte implantation Growth factors Synthetic implants Small metal implants Scaffolds Cartilage regeneration 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics, Kungsbacka HospitalKungsbackaSweden
  2. 2.Cartilage Research Unit, University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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