The time-dependent effects of bipolar radiofrequency energy on bovine articular cartilage

Liangquan Peng, Yusheng Li, Kai Zhang, Qi Chen, Lulu Xiao, Yiyun Geng, Yong Huang, Weimin Zhu, Wei Lu, Greg Zhang, Zhenhan Deng, Daping Wang
2020 Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research  
The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of bipolar radiofrequency energy (bRFE) on chondroplasty at the different time durations in an in vitro experiment that simulated an arthroscopic procedure. Six fresh bovine knees were used in our study. Six squares were marked on both the medical and lateral femoral condyles of each femur. Each square was respectively treated with bRFE for 0 s, 10 s, 20 s, 30 s, 40 s and 50 s. Full-thickness articular cartilage specimens were harvested from
more » ... e treatment areas. Each specimen was divided into three distinct parts: one for hematoxylin/eosin staining histology, another for cartilage surface contouring assessment via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the last one for glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content measurement. bRFE caused time-correlated damage to chondrocytes, and GAG content in the cartilage was negatively correlated to exposure time. bRFE caused time-correlated damage to chondrocytes. The GAG content in the cartilage negatively correlated with the exposure time. The sealing effect positively correlated with the exposure time. Additionally, it took at least 20 s of radiofrequency exposure to render a smooth cartilage surface and a score of 2 (normal) in the scoring system used. bRFE usage in chondroplasty could effectively trim and polish the cartilage lesion area; however, it induces a dose-dependent detrimental effect on chondrocytes and metabolic activity that negatively correlated with the treatment time. Therefore, cautions should be taken in the use of bRFE for treatment of articular cartilage injury.
doi:10.1186/s13018-020-01626-5 pmid:32164688 fatcat:wpfzj62pafhm7a5a5cfgvuxrdm