Acta Vet. Brno 2022, 91: 293-301

A rabbit femoral trochlear defect model for chondral and osteochondral regeneration

Tung Nguyen-Thanh1,2, Bao-Song Nguyen-Tran3, Sara Cruciani4, Thuan Dang-Cong3, Margherita Maioli4

1Hue University, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Basic Science, Hue, Vietnam
2Hue University, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Institute of Biomedicine, Hue, Vietnam
3Hue University, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Department of Histology, Embryology, Pathology and Forensic, Hue, Vietnam
4University of Sassari, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Sassari, Italy

Received December 7, 2021
Accepted June 14, 2022

Articular cartilage degeneration represents one of the main features of osteoarthritis. Recently, novel approaches based on biomaterials have been successfully applied to osteochondral regeneration. Our study was carried out on rabbits to assess a model of articular cartilage damage to test biomaterials for osteochondral regeneration. We created osteochondral defects on the surface of the trochlear groove area of the femurs in 15 white male New Zealand rabbits of the size of 3 mm × 3 mm (diameter × depth). Rabbits were then monitored and samples were collected 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks after the operation. The reconstruction of defects was assessed macroscopically according to the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) scale and radiography (X-ray). For microscopic evaluation, haematoxylin-eosin staining and safranin O staining were used. The defects were repaired by regenerative tissue, and the recovery results gradually increased after 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks, showing both microscopically and macroscopically. However, the regenerative tissue was mainly fibrous connective tissue, not cartilage or bone. This is a model of articular cartilage damage that is suitable for early screening of preclinical studies related to osteochondral regeneration using biomaterials.


This study was supported by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training’s research projects in science and technology (B2020-DHH-12). The authors also acknowledge the partial support of Hue University under the Core Research Program (NCM.DHH.2022.02).


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