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Periosteum has been promoted as a potential substrate for tissue engineering. Its principal virtues are that it has a source of pluripotential mesenchymal cells and chondrogenic growth factors located in the cambium layer, and it can serve as a template for directional evolution of neo-tissue. The clinical use and in vitro study of periosteum-derived neo-tissue has been limited by the level of surgical skill required for harvest. Precise surgical technique, task-specific experience, adequate volume of procedures, and general surgical expertise are required for optimal harvest using the traditional periosteal elevator method. This report describes an easily mastered technique that preserves viability while providing the harvest of relatively large amounts of periosteum. Skeletally mature New Zealand white rabbits (11 males/20 tibias; 4 females/8 tibias; approximate weight 3.5 kg) and one Yucatan miniature pig were used for harvest of periosteum from the tibia using the traditional periosteal elevator and the developed hydraulic elevation approach. Histologic examination of the periosteal explants obtained by the developed method showed preservation of the cambium layer containing the progenitor cells necessary for the generation of neo-cartilage. This technique provides a simple method of harvesting large segments (>5 cm x 1 cm) of periosteum in a single procedure and may facilitate better exploitation of periosteum in tissue engineering.

Original publication




Journal article


J Invest Surg

Publication Date





229 - 233


Animals, Female, Injections, Male, Needles, Periosteum, Rabbits, Sodium Chloride, Swine, Swine, Miniature, Tibia, Tissue Engineering, Tissue and Organ Harvesting