What is DeNovo NT, Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI)?
DENOVO NT is a particulated, juvenile articular cartilage allograft implant. The cells are placed into a full-thickness cartilage defect and sealed with either fibrin glue or a biologic patch. These cartilage cells then grow and differentiate into the patient’s own articular cartilage.
ACI is a two-step procedure in which new cartilage cells are grown and then implanted in the cartilage defect. First, healthy cartilage tissue is removed from a non–weightbearing area of the bone. This step is done as an arthroscopic procedure. The tissue, which contains healthy cartilage cells, or chondrocytes, is then sent to the laboratory. The cells are cultured and increase in number over a 3 to 5-week period.
An open surgical procedure, or arthrotomy, is then done to implant the newly grown cells. The cartilage defect is prepared. A biologic patch is sewn over the area and is sealed with fibrin glue. The newly grown cartilage cells are then injected into the defect under the patch. These cells grow and mature into healthy articular cartilage.
Newer generation ACI techniques, including MACI (matrix assisted autologous cartilage implantation), allow for improved implantation. Also a two-stage procedure, the harvested cartilage cells are grown on a porcine collagen membrane that can be cut to size and sewn into the cartilage defect.
ACI has the advantage of using the patient’s own cells, but does have the disadvantage of being a two-stage procedure.
Microfracture, Biocartilage, Cartiform, DeNovo NT and ACI are cartilage restoration techniques designed to treat full-thickness articular cartilage defects (ACD).