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Are Pigs the Secret to Repairing Knee Cartilage?

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | March 4th, 2017

Back in December of 2016, the FDA approved a product called the MACI.  This is substantial because MACI allows patients to regrow their knee cartilage- which can be deteriorated through injury or removed (altogether or partially) in knee surgeries.  To put it simply, MACI takes a  patient’s cartilage tissue, places the tissue on artificial scaffolds where it is engineered to grow,  and then implanted into the patient’s knee.  

MACI attaches membrane taken from pigs to the autologous cartilage tissue, and these implants can include anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million cells per square centimeter.  Surgeons must be specially trained to conduct use MACI, and the procedure is still being studied.  The results so far have been positive, although there have been several adverse effects reported, such as headaches and back pain. Although MACI is still in the beginning stages of trials, it is an exciting possibility that can innovate the recovery process of knee procedures.  

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