Articular cartliage has a limited regeneration capacity, due to the absence of blood vessels and the low mitogenic potency of the chondrocytes. Self-healing of the defect is not possible.
When untreated, depending on its location and size, this defect will progress and ultimately result in osteoarthritis. To prevent this destructive process, articular cartilage surgery aims to restore the structure and function of hyaline cartilage.
Geistlich treatment approach
Geistlich focuses on regenerative minimally invasive methods and the development of products that support self-healing processes in the body. The aim is to repair articular cartilage, provide pain relief to the patient and slow down the progression of damage. Depending on a person's age and activity level, the approach preserves or extends the patient's usual lifestyle before alternative treatments like joint replacement have to be considered.
With Chondro-Gide® Geistlich has developed a collagen scaffold designed for guided regeneration. This matrix can be used in combination with different established approaches to cartilage repair. The application of Chondro-Gide® with marrow stimulation techniques led to a successful co-development of a matrix and technique, today known as AMIC® (Autologous Matrix Induced Chondrogenesis). AMIC® combines microfracture with the application of the bilayer matrix. Following microfracture, cells migrate into the defect. The matrix, Chondro-Gide® which is used to cover the defect provides the cells with a colonization scaffold, thus stabilising and protecting the resulting super clot. In this 'biological chamber' the cells are stimulated to differentiate and form repair tissue. The smooth and cell occlusive surface side of the matrix, prevents cells from diffusing into the joint space and protects them from mechanical stress.
Whether cells are sourced on-site via microfracture, harvested from another site in the body and applied to the matrix or even cultured on the matrix - the goal is a mobilisation of the body's repair mechanism and the generation of cartilage tissue within the defect.