The present study investigates whether photoactivated attachment of cartilage can provide a viable method for more effective repair of damaged articular surfaces by providing an alternative to sutures, barbs, or fibrin glues for initial fixation. Unlike artificial materials, biological constructs do not possess the initial strength for press-fitting and are instead sutured or pinned in place, typically inducing even more tissue trauma. A possible alternative involves the application of a photosensitive material, which is then photoactivated with a laser source to attach the implant and host tissues together in either a photothermal or photochemical process. The photothermal version of this method shows potential, but has been almost entirely applied to vascularized tissues. Cartilage, however, exhibits several characteristics that produce appreciable differences between applying and refining these techniques when compared to previous efforts involving vascularized tissues. Preliminary investigations involving photochemical photosensitizers based on singlet oxygen and electron transfer mechanisms are discussed, and characterization of the photodynamic effects on bulk collagen gels as a simplified model system using FTIR is performed. Previous efforts using photothermal welding applied to cartilaginous tissues are reviewed.