The Ovine Model for Meniscus Tissue Engineering: Considerations of Anatomy, Function, Implantation, and Evaluation

Andrzej Brzezinski, Salim A. Ghodbane, Jay M. Patel, Barbara A. Perry, Charles J. Gatt, Michael G. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Meniscus injuries represent one of the most-common intra-articular knee injuries. The current treatment options include meniscectomy and allograft transplantation, both with poor long-term outcomes. Therefore, there is a need for regenerative techniques to restore meniscal function. To preclinically test scaffolds for meniscus replacement, large animal models need to be established and standardized. This review establishes the anatomical and compositional similarities between human and sheep menisci and provides guidance for implantation and evaluation of such devices. The ovine meniscus represents a scaled-down version of the human meniscus, with only slight structural differences that can be addressed during device fabrication. Implantation protocols in sheep remain a challenge, as the meniscus cannot be visualized with the arthroscopic-assisted procedures commonly performed in human patients. Thus, we recommend the appropriate implantation protocols for meniscus visualization, ligamentous restoration, and surgical fixation of both total and partial meniscus replacement devices. Last, due to the lack of standardization in evaluation techniques, we recommend a comprehensive battery of tests to evaluate the efficacy of meniscus replacement implants. We recommend other investigators utilize these surgical and testing techniques to establish the ovine model as the gold standard for preclinical evaluation of meniscus replacement devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-841
Number of pages13
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • anatomy and physiology
  • large animal model
  • meniscus tissue engineering


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