ACI is an abbreviation for 'autologous chondrocyte implantation'.

Page updated September 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

cells being cultured


Healthy cartilage is removed from a relatively unimportant part of the joint and cultured in a laboratory.


A membrane is created by harvesting a bit of the connective tissue covering the bone, and sewn over the defect in the bone. The cultured cells are then injected behind it.



Cartilage defects

ACI is a mainstream surgical procedure for localised full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee.

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autologous chondrocyte implantation

Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...


Also relevant -

Specialist opinion -

Dr Kevin Robert Stone2010 - Biologic Knee Replacement - by Dr Kevin Stone (Knee Surgeon)

eBook about ACi ten years on

eBook - ACi ten years on

Professor Paul Lee discusses the progression of the ACi procedure (for defects of joint cartilage) over the last decade.

Free to download