Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research 2017 11 1512(1) 176 doi 10.1186/s13018-017-0666-0
This study sought to prepare a new PVA/n-HA/PA66 composite to investigate the repair of articular cartilage and subchondral defects in rabbit knee joints.
A 5 × 5 × 5 mm-sized defect was created in the patellofemoral joints of 72 healthy adult New Zealand rabbits. The rabbits were then randomly divided into three groups (n = 24): PVA/n-HA+PA66 group, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) group, and control (untreated) group. Cylindrical PVA/n-HA+PA66, 5 × 5 mm, comprised an upper PVA layer and a lower n-HA+PA66 layer. Macroscopic and histological evaluations were performed at 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks, postoperatively. Type II collagen was measured by immunohistochemical staining. The implant/cartilage and bone interfaces were observed by scanning electron microscopy.
At 24 weeks postoperatively, the lower PVA/n-HA+PA66 layer became surrounded by cartilage, with no obvious degeneration. In the PVA group, an enlarged space was observed between the implant and the host tissue that had undergone degeneration. In the control group, the articular cartilage had become calcified. In the PVA/n-HA+PA66 group, positive type II collagen staining was observed between the composite and the surrounding cartilage and on the implant surface. In the PVA group, positive staining was slightly increased between the PVA and the surrounding cartilage, but reduced on the PVA surface. In the control group, reduced staining was observed throughout. Scanning electron microscopy showed increased bone tissue in the lower n-HA+PA66 layer that was in close approximation with the upper PVA layer of the composite. In the PVA group, the bone tissue around the material had receded, and in the control group, the defect was filled with bone tissue, while the superior aspect of the defect was filled with disordered, fibrous tissue.
The diphase biological composite material PVA/n-HA+PA66 exhibits good histocompatibility and offers a satisfactory substitute for articular cartilage and subchondral bone.