Condition category
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status
Results overdue

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Damage to joint surface in the knee is commonly caused by sports injuries and falls. It does not restore itself when injured and ultimately the patient may develop arthritis in the knee joint. Many techniques have been developed to repair the damaged surface and the most commonly performed technique (gold standard) is micro fracture. In this procedure, drill holes are made in the damaged cartilage via a keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) to promote bleeding and scar tissue in place of the damaged surface. This technique has variable results and does not lead to the formation of new joint surface. Much research has been done on the ability of stems cells (patient’s own biological cells) to change into new joint surface cells. This study aims to find out the effectiveness of a new surgical procedure (ABICUS - Autologous Bone marrow Implantation of Cells University of Southampton), involving the use of patient’s own stem cells to restore joint surface in the knee and compare the results of this surgery with an existing, well established technique.

Who can participate?
Patients aged 18 to 65 with a proven joint defect in the knee

What does the study involve?
Patients are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Group 1 receive the conventional treatment (microfracture) and group 2 receive ABICUS. In group 2 patients, following anaesthesia, a sample of cells from inside the bone (bone marrow sample) is taken from the hip using a fine needle. A keyhole surgery of the knee is then performed and a mixture of the cells from the sample is collected and fibrin glue (an adhesive) is placed over the damaged area and allowed to set. Outcome scores using questionnaires and MRI scans of the knee are compared in the two groups.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There will be no risks different to those involved in the conventional treatment.

Where is the study run from?
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
July 2013 to July 2015

Who is funding the study?
Neurotechnics Ltd (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Mr Gorav Datta

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Mr Gorav Datta


Contact details

Southampton General Hospital
Tremona Road
SO16 6YD
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Autologous Bone Marrow Implantation University of Southampton (ABICUS) versus Microfracture in the knee



Study hypothesis

ABICUS has a better clinical outcome than microfracture in the knee.

Ethics approval

Not available at the time of registration

Study design

Randomised controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet


Musculoskeletal surgery


1. Group 1: microfracture
2. Group 2: ABICUS (Autologous Bone Marrow Implantation University of Southampton) procedure

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Clinical function, measured by the mean Lysholm, Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scoring scales at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 1 and 2 years post-operatively

Secondary outcome measures

Cartilage growth, assessed by MRI [Magnetic resonance Observation of CArtilage Repair Tissue (MOCART) score] at 1 and 2 years post-operatively

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Participant is willing and able to give informed consent for participation in the study
2. Male or female, aged 18 years to 65 years
3. Diagnosed with articular cartilage defect in the knee as assessed on MRI scan
4. No other significant medical comorbidities (medical diseases)
5. Able and willing to comply with all study requirements

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Generalised and/or inflammatory arthritis
2. Active joint inflammation
3. Obvious deformity in the knee
4. Age below 18 and over 65 years
5. Significant medical comorbidities

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Southampton General Hospital
SO16 6YD
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Neurotechnics Limited (UK)

Sponsor details

c/o Gary Swattridge
Cephalon House
Unit 8 Manor Park
OX16 3TB
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Neurotechnics Limited (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

01/09/2020: No publications found. Added trial website. 09/08/2017: No publications found, verifying study status with principal investigator.