Dextran-tryamine hydrogel maintains position and integrity under simulated loading in a human cadaver knee model

G. S. van der Weiden, S. C. Mastbergen, S. K. Both, M. Karperien, F. P. Lafeber, N. van Egmond, R. J.H. Custers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: This dextran-tyramine hydrogel is a novel cartilage repair technique, filling focal cartilage defects to provide a cell-free scaffold for subsequent cartilage repair. We aim to asses this techniques’ operative feasibility in the knee joint and its ability to maintain position and integrity under expected loading conditions. Method: Seven fresh-frozen human cadaver legs (age range 55–88) were used to create 30 cartilage defects on the medial and lateral femoral condyles dependent of cartilage quality, starting with 1.0 ​cm2; augmenting to 1.5 ​cm2 and eventually 2.0 ​cm2. The defects were operatively filled with the injectable hydrogel scaffold. The knees were subsequently placed on a continues passive motion machine for 30 ​min of non-load bearing movement, mimicking post-operative rehabilitation. High resolution digital photographs documented the hydrogel scaffold after placement and directly after movement. Three independent observers blinded for the moment compared the photographs on outline attachment, area coverage and hydrogel integrity. Results: The operative procedure was uncomplicated in all defects, application of the hydrogel was straightforward and comparable to common cartilage repair techniques. No macroscopic iatrogenic damage was observed. The hydrogel scaffold remained predominately unchanged after non-load bearing movement. Outline attachment, area coverage and hydrogel integrity were unaffected in 87%, 93% and 83% of defects respectively. Larger defects appear to be more affected than smaller defects, although not statistically significant (p ​> ​0.05). Conclusion: The results of this study show operative feasibility of this cell-free hydrogel scaffold for chondral defects of the knee joint. Sustained outline attachment, area coverage and hydrogel integrity were observed after non-load bearing knee movement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100492
Number of pages7
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2024


  • Cartilage defect
  • Cartilage repair
  • Hydrogel
  • Knee joint


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