Knee 'Scaffold' Study Offers New Hope for Injury Victims
from the University of Leicester are taking revolutionary research further with
the potential to offer new hope for knee-injury victims.
are following up international research that aims to improve knee cartilage
repair techniques, termed ‘chrondrocyte implantation’.
The procedure, developed in Sweden ten years ago, involves growing a
patient’s knee cartilage cells in a laboratory, which are then implanted
through open knee surgery.
Recent exciting developments revolve around the materials or
‘scaffolds’ that the cells are grown on. The scaffold is inserted into the
knee with the seeded cells growing on it, and disintegrates slowly once the
knee’s cartilage cells have become established.
Paul Jenkins from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leicester,
and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Mike Harding from the University’s Department of
Orthopaedic Surgery at Glenfield Hospital are collaborating to find the perfect
biodegradeable polymer scaffold.
Jenkins said: “We are using a polymer that is based on hyaluronic acid, which
has great potential, because it degrades to an acid that is naturally present as
a lubricant in all of our joints.
The scaffold must be adhesive so that it stays in place inside the knee
until enzymes in the knee degrade it.
Probably the best known scaffold material is the benzyl ester of
hyaluronic acid is extremely sticky when the chrondrocyte cells are growing in
aim is to prepare and test new derivatives of hyaluronic acid to produce even
better biodegradable matrix materials.”
Harding said: “Cartilage tissue is mostly composed of a stiff, spongy matrix
material produced by the cartilage cells.
A property of the scaffold should be that it promotes the configuration
of cartilage cells into the matrix shape.
We are currently exploring the growth of cells onto different polymer
research is in the experimental stages, and has not yet been clinically tested.
If the material proves to be a successful cartilage scaffold, extensive trials
will be needed to allow it to be clinically tested for its reliability as a
general surgical procedure for damaged knees.
NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please contact Dr P R
Jenkins, Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH,
0116 252 2124, email@example.com
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.