Animal models for cartilage reconstruction

G. G. Reinholz, L. Lu, D. B.F. Saris, M. J. Yaszemski, S. W. O'Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Animal models are widely used to develop and evaluate tissue-engineering techniques for the reconstruction of damaged human articular cartilage. For the purpose of this review, these model systems will include in vitro culture of animal cells and explants, heterotopic models of chondrogenesis, and articular cartilage defect models. The objectives for these preclinical studies are to engineer articular cartilage for the functional restoration of a joint surface that appears anatomically, histologically, biologically, biochemically, and mechanically to resemble the original joint surface. While no animal model permits direct application to humans, each is capable of yielding principles on which decisions can be made that might eventually translate into a human application. Clearly, the use of animal models has and will continue to play a significant role in the advancement of this field. Each animal model has specific advantages and disadvantages. The key issue in the selection of an appropriate animal model is to match the model to the question being investigated and the hypothesis to be tested. The purpose of this review is to discuss issues regarding animal model selection, the benefits and limitations of these model systems, scaffold selection with emphasis on polymers, and evaluation of the tissue-engineered articular cartilage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1511-1521
Number of pages11
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Animal model
  • Cartilage
  • Cartilage tissue engineering
  • Chondrocyte
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Animal models for cartilage reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this