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Table 4 Major considerations for focal articular cartilage defect models

From: Large animal models in experimental knee sports surgery: focus on clinical translation

Factor Comments
Cartilage thickness Generally increasing with the size of the animals. Depends on anatomic location within the joint
Subchondral bone plate thickness Not always reflective of the size of the animals. Minipigs, for example, have a thin subchondral bone plate, while sheep have a thick subchondral bone plate
Age of animals Adult animals are preferred as juvenile animals have a higher degree of spontaneous repair
Defect size Can be determined as area of defect and placed in relation with the condylar width
Defect depth Needs to be adapted to the osteochondral anatomy to reflect the desired defect type
Defect anatomy Circular or rectangular patterns are commonly used
Defect location Topographic differences within a joint exist for cartilage thickness, biochemical composition and repair potential
Knee resting position Differs among animals, often lack of full extension as in humans
Gait patterns Differs among animals, the sheep/goat/horse usually considered to best resemble be situation in humans