(Image from Saanichton Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic)
The knee meniscus is a rubbery C-shaped disc that acts as a cushion during movement. Creating an engineered meniscus is challenging because the native tissue has an interior cartilaginous zone and outer fibrous zone. Dr Hasirci and his team at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey have successfully engineered an artificial meniscus through a series of steps including 3D printing, impregnation with agarose and gelatin methacrylate, loading with porcine fibrochondrocytes and incubation. The team then performed dynamic stimulation on the construct to mimic the physiological loading on the tissue and optimize the response of the engineered tissue by comparing them to the characteristics of native tissues. The end result is a construct with potential for use as a substitute for total meniscus replacement.
The CellScale UniVert participated in this research by providing the team a reliable instrument to perform mechanical tests with, allowing them to draw direct comparisons of mechanical properties of the engineered and native tissue.