Autologous cultured chondrocytes is a cell therapy used to treat damage to cartilage in the knees.

Brand Names
Generic Name
Autologous cultured chondrocytes
DrugBank Accession Number

Autologous cultured chrondrocytes are used as autologous cell therapy to repair articular cartilage injuries in the knee (femoral condyle) due to acute or repetitive trauma. It serves as an alternative repair treatment for patients with inadequate response to pre-existing surgical methods. The surgical implantation shows a tolerable safety profile and efficacy up to 4 years, but it is not indicated for patients with osteoarthritis. It has been used since 1995 as Carticel and gained biologic license in 1997. The surgical implantation was first performed in Sweden.

Approved, Investigational
Biologic Classification
Cell transplant therapies
Autologous cell transplant
Not Available



in Autologous cultured chondrocytes are indicated the repair of symptomatic, single or multiple full-thickness cartilage defects of the knee with or without bone involvement in adults aged 55 years and less.7

They are not indicated for use in joints other than the knee.7

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Associated Conditions
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Autologous cultured chrondrocytes reduce pain and considerably improve function in patients with defected cartilage at femoral joints by producing hyaline-like cartilage repair tissue.

Mechanism of action

Chrondrocytes are collected from the patient's femoral articular cartilage and isolated cells are expanded through cell culture in vitro. Multiplied chrondrocytes are implanted into articular cartilage defects beneath an autologous periosteal flap. Cells produce hyaline-like cartilage that mainly consists of type II collagen. Type II collagen maintain the macromolecular framework in the extracellular matrix that gives integrity to surrounding hyaline cartilage. The therapy repairs damaged cartilage and restores functional and mechanical ability to withstand compressional, tensile, and shear forces.


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Volume of distribution

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Protein binding

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Route of elimination

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Adverse Effects
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Unwanted effects from therapy include arthrofibrosis/joint adhesions, graft overgrowth, chondromalacia or chondrosis, cartilage injury, graft complication, meniscal lesion and graft delamination in less than 5% of total patients who underwent treatment.

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Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
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Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Not Available
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
CarticelImplant1.2e+007 1/1Intra-articularVericel Corporation1905-06-19Not applicableUS flag
CarticelImplant1.2e+007 1/1Intra-articularGenzyme Corporation1997-08-222014-06-03US flag
Chondrocelect10000 cells/?lTi Genix N.V.2020-12-162017-01-12EU flag
Spherox40 spheroids/cm²Co.Don Ag2020-12-22Not applicableEU flag
Spherox40 spheroids/cm²Co.Don Ag2020-12-22Not applicableEU flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
MaciAutologous cultured chondrocytes (15000000 1/1) + Pork collagen (15 cm2/1)ImplantIntra-articularVericel Corporation2017-06-09Not applicableUS flag


Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number
Not Available


General References
  1. Melrose J: The knee joint loose body as a source of viable autologous human chondrocytes. Eur J Histochem. 2016 Jun 10;60(2):2645. doi: 10.4081/ejh.2016.2645. [Article]
  2. Nazempour A, Van Wie BJ: Chondrocytes, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, and Their Combination in Articular Cartilage Regenerative Medicine. Ann Biomed Eng. 2016 May;44(5):1325-54. doi: 10.1007/s10439-016-1575-9. Epub 2016 Mar 17. [Article]
  3. Akkiraju H, Nohe A: Role of Chondrocytes in Cartilage Formation, Progression of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Regeneration. J Dev Biol. 2015 Dec;3(4):177-192. Epub 2015 Dec 18. [Article]
  4. Brittberg M, Lindahl A, Nilsson A, Ohlsson C, Isaksson O, Peterson L: Treatment of deep cartilage defects in the knee with autologous chondrocyte transplantation. N Engl J Med. 1994 Oct 6;331(14):889-95. [Article]
  5. Zhang W, Ouyang H, Dass CR, Xu J: Current research on pharmacologic and regenerative therapies for osteoarthritis. Bone Res. 2016 Mar 1;4:15040. doi: 10.1038/boneres.2015.40. eCollection 2016. [Article]
  6. Knutsen G, Engebretsen L, Ludvigsen TC, Drogset JO, Grontvedt T, Solheim E, Strand T, Roberts S, Isaksen V, Johansen O: Autologous chondrocyte implantation compared with microfracture in the knee. A randomized trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2004 Mar;86-A(3):455-64. [Article]
  7. FDA Approved Drug Products: MACI (autologous cultured chondrocytes on porcine collagen membrane) Cellular sheet for autologous implantation [Link]
PubChem Substance
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4CompletedTreatmentCartilage, Articular1
3CompletedTreatmentArticular Cartilage Defects1
3CompletedTreatmentArticular Cartilage Lesion of the Femoral Condyle1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableArticular Cartilage Defects1
Not AvailableCompletedNot AvailableCartilage Diseases / Cartilage, Articular1


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Dosage Forms
ImplantIntra-articular1.2e+007 1/1
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Experimental Properties
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Drug created at December 01, 2015 20:05 / Updated at March 17, 2022 22:25