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Dr. Jonathan Hersch, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, involved in clinical research for treatment of knee injuries

Jun 13, 2016

Orthopaedic surgeon in Boca Raton participates in clinical study focusing on regeneration of diseased or damaged cartilage using tissue engineering to repair the knee

– This study uses biotechnology to regrow a patient’s own cells to repair the knee.

Boca Raton, Fla. – June 14, 2016 – Dr. Jonathan Hersch, a Palm Beach County based orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Palm Beach Health Network Physician Groups (PBHNPG), is currently involved in a clinical research study for a new technique using biotechnology, a tissue engineering process and regenerative medicine for the treatment of knee injuries. Dr. Hersch is participating in a Phase III FDA trial to measure the success of NOVOCART® 3D autologous chondrocyte implant system vs. microfracture surgery for cartilage injuries of the knee. Dr. Hersch is studying the NOVOCART® 3D where cells are extracted from the patient in specialized laboratories, multiplied by way of natural growth processes and eventually re-transplanted into the patient. Those autologous chondrocyte implants received by each patient consist of an implant populated with their own cartilage with the application of chondrocytes.

“One of my areas of interests is in cartilage transplants. Loss of cartilage is a common source of pain and frustration because it causes arthritis which currently has no cure. If a patient presents with isolated areas of cartilage lost from either an injury or from aging we can take cartilage from the area, grow a healthy patch and transplant it. This is done around the world successfully and now we’re trying to get it here available to patients in the United States,” said Dr. Hersch.

During a microfracture surgery, a current standard of care to treat damaged knee cartilage, small holes are drilled through the bone and blood pools into the area and clots, eventually hyaline cartilage forms which studies have shown is not as strong as articular cartilage. Rehabilitation from a microfracture surgery can take up to 12 months. Dr. Hersch will research both surgical procedures which will be followed by physical rehabilitation and assessments of pain and knee function.

The entire NOVOCART® 3D tissue engineering project only takes three weeks. Dr. Hersch hopes the process will give patients an alternative to microfracture surgery and benefit from the advantages of regenerative medicine and biotechnology. During the procedure, a sliver of the patient’s cartilage, a small amount taken from a patient’s knee, is sent out to a lab and 21 days later, the patient comes back for a second surgery to transplant the healthy cartilage which was grown in the lab, back to the knee,

“The new cartilage cells from the patient’s body have been expanded onto a little disk made out of collagen and other materials and then that disk is sewed over the patient’s hole in the cartilage of the injured knee. The cartilage will fill-in the patient’s defect and can cure their arthritis,” said Dr. Hersch.

According to NOVOCART® 3D and Tissue Engineering Technologies AG (TETEC), the patient does not need to fear any rejection reaction caused by the transplant, and benefits from natural, “inside-out” healing. The transplanted cells can act in the body to continuously reproduce and maintain the defective tissue/organ function. The methods used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine will further revolutionize the replacement of tissues and organs in the future. Already, cartilage, bone and skin defects are being successfully treated using biological reconstruction procedures, and research in these areas continues, opening up completely new dimensions.

Dr. Hersch is an experienced, award-winning orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. He specializes in shoulder, elbow, knee and hip surgery, including arthroscopy, fracture care, sports medicine and adolescent and adult care. His Palm Beach Health Network Physician Groups (PBHNPG) office is located at 6853 SW 18th St., Suite M111 in Boca Raton and he is on staff at West Boca Medical Center. He has been practicing medicine since 2000. For more information on Dr. Hersch please visit

For more information about the clinical trial and participating surgeons, visit the NOVOCART 3D study page on

About Palm Beach Health Network Physician Groups

Palm Beach Health Network Physician Groups (PBHNPG), a division of Tenet Healthcare Corporation, is a multi-specialty physician group that has provided care to the communities of Palm Beach, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties since 2007.  PBHNPG physicians, including primary care, specialists and sub-specialists, have cared for over 625,000 patients across various medical and surgical specialties. Our award-winning physicians provide a level of expertise that has resulted in regional firsts and outstanding patient outcomes.  PBHNPG physicians and staff are committed to delivering high quality care.  Our mission is to improve the life of every person who enters our doors.  Today, we are proud to be one of the largest and most respected physician networks in the area.


Media: David DiPino, 954-671-1414

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