The word 'autologous' means 'from the same body'. 'Chondrocyte' means 'a joint cartilage cell'. So the procedure of autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) is to do with the implantation of a person's own joint cartilage cells back into their body.

If there is a fairly substantial area of joint surface damage in the knee (usually on the end of the thigh bone - the femoral condyle or the patella - the kneecap), it is now possible to take healthy cartilage cells and send them to a laboratory for culture (where they are multiplied and make many cells), and then return them for implantation into the damaged area to grow into healthy cartilage.

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