MACI is an abbreviation of 'matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation'.

Page updated February 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)


Technique of MACI

Damaged joint cartilage does not heal well on its own. Procedures of cartilage repair have been developed to fill in deep defects with more viable cartilage material:

In the mACI procedure, the surgeon performs an arthroscopy to check the status of the joint cartilage and the defect, and to harvest bits of healthy cartilage from part of the lower femur where the cartilage is not really bearing weight. Living healthy cartilage cells (chondrocytes) are then extracted and cultivated in the laboratory, and treated for a few weeks so that they multiply on a membrane that acts as culture medium.

Then the patient is booked for a second surgical procedure, where the original defect is cleaned up and the new cell-filled membrane is secured into the hole, where it should grow and fill the space and build up its own matrix between the chondrocytes.

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Matrix-induced autologous chondrocyte implantation

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

See biography...