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Determination of Cryoprotectant Behavior, Physiological and Anatomical Characterization of the Porcine Meniscus as a Model for Future Meniscal Vitrification Studies Open Access


Other title
cryoprotectant agents
meniscus vitrification
Meniscus tissue banking
meniscus allograft transplantation
translational animal models
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Takroni, Talal Abdulkareem
Supervisor and department
Jomha, Nadr M (Surgery)
Elliott, Janet A W (Chemicals and Material Engineering)
Adesida, Adetola B (Surgery)
Examining committee member and department
Elliott, Janet A W (Department of Chemicals and Material Engineering)
Churchill, Thomas (Department of Surgery)
Adesida, Adetola B (Department of Surgery)
Adeeb, Samer (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Jomha, Nadr M (Department of Surgery)
Department of Surgery
Experimental Surgery
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The menisci hold significant, protective biomechanical function in the human knee and loss of meniscal functions have been linked to the development of osteoarthritis. Currently, irreparable or non-salvageable meniscal injuries undergo partial or total removal of injured menisci to alleviate patients’ symptoms. Unfortunately, in the long term both procedures lead to knee degenerative changes. Investigators are seeking techniques to bank donor meniscal tissue for future allograft transplantation, by means of tissue vitrification while using cryoprotectant agents (CPAs). However, achieving this goal would require extensive investigation and intact human meniscal tissue is not readily available for this purpose. Thereby, animal models are indispensable tools for meniscus investigation. The reliability and applicability of these models to replicate findings in humans depends on determining the most suitable animal proxy. The porcine model is commonly used in our laboratory for Orthopaedic tissue experimentation. Before the porcine meniscus can be regarded as a suitable model for human meniscal investigations, it has to be examined from a physiologic, anatomical and functional perspective. First, we examined the behavior of two commonly used CPAs (EG and glycerol) with the porcine meniscus by determining the post-incubation efflux rates. Second, we performed biochemical analysis to investigate the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and DNA content of the porcine meniscus. Finally, through a descriptive anatomical study, we compared the weight, volume and dimensions of the human meniscus with two commonly used animal models: sheep and pig. Our findings provided preliminary data on the efflux amount of EG and glycerol from the porcine meniscus for different experimental conditions. Those findings would aid in choosing meniscus incubation duration and the choice of experimental temperature when designing future studies. Moreover, our structural study revealed a higher concentration of sulfated GAGs in the inner two-thirds region of the porcine meniscus. Additionally, based on anatomical features, the sheep meniscus showed more resemblance to the human meniscus than the porcine meniscus, suggesting that it might be a more suitable model than the current model that was used
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