The aging process and traumatic injuries frequently cause damage to articular cartilage that, if left untreated, can result in arthritic lesions of the joint surface with concomitant loss of function. With current treatment modalities, the resultant repair, typically consisting of fibrocartilage, often degenerates over time to arthritis. The aim of our research is to utilize tissue engineering techniques to develop a method for healing articular cartilage lesions. We successfully treated rabbit cartilage lesions with an implant consisting of rabbit chondrocytes in a collagen matrix carrier. We harvest and grow the rabbit cells in culture and seed them into a collagen bilayer, designed to prevent ingrowth of fibrous tissues into the lesion while acting as a scaffold for transplanted chondrocytes. The engineered collagen/chondrocyte construct is then implanted in articular defects in the rabbit knee.
Extensive mechanical, histological, and biochemical evaluations show that the regenerated cartilage has properties nearly identical to those of the normal cartilage. Furthermore, this neocartilage showed no sign of arthritic deterioration 6 mo after implantation. We continue to investigate the use of growth factors to enhance the repair induced by cell transplants, as well as cell-free devices. We have extended our studies to large animal models (dogs, goats) to replicate the clinical situation. Our most recent studies are testing the use of stem cells and gene therapy techniques to regenerate damaged articular surfaces.
Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology
Director, Morphological and Developmental Basis of Medicine I and II Module
PhD from New York University
Biomaterials. 2013 Sep; 34(27):6412-6421
Science translational medicine. 2012 May 23; 4(135):135ra65-135ra65135ra65
Studies in health technology & informatics. 2012; 173:359-361
American journal of sports medicine. 2009 Apr; 37(4):720-726
Journal of orthopaedic research. 2006 May; 24(5):1118-1127
Virtual Prosections: Head & Neck Volume 1. [New York] : NYUSOM Digital Press (Institute for Innovations in Medical Education), 2015. 39 p. (2172282)
Virtual Prosections: The Pelvis & Perineum. [New York] : NYUSOM Digital Press (Institute for Innovations in Medical Education), 2015. 33 p. (2172312)
Virtual Prosections: The Upper Limb. [New York] : NYUSOM Digital Press (Institute for Innovations in Medical Education), 2015. 38 p. (2172322)