The Matrix Associated Chondrocyte Implant (MACI) is reportedly the first tissue-engineered cartilage scaffold using a patient’s own cells to be approved by the FDA, and the first FDA-approved new cartilage technology since 1986.

The MACI is engineered to use a patient’s own healthy cartilage cells to grow new cells. In the MACI procedure, a surgeon places a collagen patch or membrane containing the patient’s healthy cartilage cells directly on the patient’s damaged knees to help regrow new cartilage.

The collagen membrane used in the MACI procedure is manufactured by Vericel Corporation, headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.

“I am very excited to be able to offer this advanced technology to patients right here in North Carolina,” says Dr Joseph Barker from Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic in Raleigh, NC. He is reportedly the first surgeon in North Carolina’s Wake County to perform this procedure, according to a media release.

“My passion is fixing patient’s problems and restoring anatomy. This new procedure allows both of these possibilities. Unlike traditional, older cartilage-cell transplant techniques, MACI can be done through smaller incisions with decreased operative time,” he adds.

[Source: Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic]