The importance of the fibrocartilaginous menisci to the proper biomechanical function of the knee joint has been increasingly appreciated over the past 30 years. Meniscectomy is not the innocuous procedure it was once considered. Consequently, emphasis is now being placed on ways of repairing injured menisci in situ. To attain this goal, it is important to investigate the biology of the cells that synthesize and maintain the tissue that is to be repaired. In vitro culture techniques have aided in the understanding of how the cells of the meniscus (fibrochondrocytes) function and what is required to stimulate them to carry out the biologic functions they were designed to perform. In vitro culture of meniscal tissues may become an experimental tool for elucidating the requirements for meniscal repair and restoration of normal joint function after meniscal injury.
From the Departments of Pathology, Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology, and Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Reprint requests to Richard J. Webber, Ph.D., Center for Musculoskeletal Research, Slot 517, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205
Supported by NIH grants AR 34349–04 and AR 01799–02.
Received: June 5, 1989.