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    With an aging and more active population, cartilage pathology due to trauma and degenerative disease is an increasingly important clinical issue.
  • Forty-three million patients suffer from arthritic conditions, with an estimated total cost (with medical care and lost productivity) of approximately $65 billion annually, and arthritic conditions are projected to have the largest increase in the number of new patients of any disease in the United States.
  • Autogenous host tissue has been used in the repair and reconstruction of cartilage but is critically limited by quantity and donor-site morbidity.
  • Thus, the development of a tissue-engineering approach to treatment is an area of intense research.