3D bioprinting of tissue engineered meniscal constructs

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences


Over 1.5 million people across the USA and Europe suffer from injuries to the knee meniscus which can significantly reduce their mobility and quality of life. The most common treatment for this type of lesion encompasses the partial or total surgical removal of the affected tissue (meniscectomy). Whilst this procedure is able to provide short term pain relief and restore temporary knee function, the biomechanical instability caused by the loss of tissue becomes irreversible and frequently results in osteoarthritis. A promising alternative relies on the combination of tissue engineered constructs (scaffolds) with patient-derived cells and growth factors to support and stimulate the regeneration process of the tissue. However, most strategies developed so far have failed to generate constructs capable of mimicking both the structural as well as functional organization of the native meniscus whilst promoting the deposition of new ECM. This project aims at the development of truly biomimetic meniscus substitutes through the integration of imaging technology, 3D bioprinting, advanced biomaterials and stem cells. Laser scanning techniques will be employed to acquire meniscus geometrical information and used to print patient customized implants. Novel Poly(ester urea) materials with tuneable physical and chemical properties will be synthetized and used for the printing of 3D templates with zonal organization (i.e outer meniscus and inner meniscus). Encapsulation and controlled release (i.e. temporal and spatial) of fibrocartilaginous growth factors will be explored to further enhance the zonal functionality of the meniscus by promoting the differentiation of stem cells into either chondrogenic or fibroblastic lineages.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022201/1 31/03/2019 29/09/2027
2263106 Studentship EP/S022201/1 07/09/2019 31/12/2023 Grace McDermott