Researchers from China are hoping to improve medical outcomes for patients dealing with knee joint issues. Their recent study, ‘Biomechanically, structurally and functionally meticulously tailored polycaprolactone/silk fibroin scaffold for meniscus regeneration,’ outlines their recent study.
Meniscus deficiency is a disease of the knee joints, which can also develop further into osteoarthritis—a degenerative disease that may continue to worsen and cause pain. The authors note that fixing the meniscus can be fraught with difficulties, with today’s most common techniques being meniscus suture, partial or total meniscectomy, and allograft transplantation.
In the hopes that bioprinting could make sweeping changes in the area of regeneration, they have developed a new meniscus scaffold made out of polycaprolactone (PCL)/silk fibroin (SF). Such techniques may be effective, but unfortunately do not ward off osteoarthritis. Allograft transplantation may work also, but research shows that over time results are still shown to be ‘dissatisfactory and uncertain.’
“Also, none of the commercial implants can perfectly restore or permanently replace the natural meniscus tissue, effectively solve the symptoms after meniscectomy, and prevent degenerative cartilage diseases,” state the researchers. “In complex meniscus injuries, the inability of surgical intervention to recover the structural, biomechanical, and functional properties of meniscus remains a great challenge.”
While PCL has been used previously in 3D printing, most studies or experimentation have not been related to strengthening mechanical properties; however, the researchers theorized that PCL could offer the potential for ‘robust’ mechanical properties as well as biomimetic structures. The downside could be ‘risk of attrition of articular cartilage and lack of biological functional bionics.’
Biomimetic meniscus scaffolds were created on a 3D Bioplotter.
“The pre-created γ-crosslinking network not only provided a preliminary supporting structure for the material system, but also affected the distribution and size of the new physical cross-linker β sheet domains, which contributed to the strength, elasticity, and stability of the SF sponge,” stated the researchers.
As the PS scaffolds begin to show signs of degradation, the researchers noted both slow degradation of PCL as well as more rapid degradation of SF scaffolds. The ratio between samples demonstrated a balance between biomechanical properties, matching the new meniscus.
“With the advantages of biomimetic architecture, SMSC recruitment ability, and excellent biomechanical characteristics, the scaffold provided an excellent microenvironment for SMSC recruitment, retention, proliferation, differentiation, and ECM production,” concluded the researchers. “Furthermore, the scaffold displayed superior biomechanical properties and excellent anisotropic meniscus regeneration and chondroprotection.
“Compared with traditional cell-based therapies, the current study provides a novel approach for one-step meniscus repair and regeneration with the advantages of reduced cost and avoiding secondary operation. Thus, the PS-L7 scaffold developed in the current study exhibits tremendous potential for clinical translation in meniscus tissue engineering.”
The meniscus has been the center of other studies related to 3D printing, from 3D printed implants to help with recovery from sports injuries to fabrication of menisci in outer space. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Biomechanically, structurally and functionally meticulously tailored polycaprolactone/silk fibroin scaffold for meniscus regeneration’]
You May Also Like
Roboze’s Exclusive Subscription Plan to Print Parts Near Point of Production
COVID-19 unveiled production gaps in the current global supply chain as parts are produced in central location and shipped all over the world: that’s why the Roboze vision is to...
3D Printing News Briefs: December 20, 2020: iFactory3D, Farsoon, DMC & Produmax, EOS
In 3D Printing News Briefs this weekend, we’re talking about a successful 3D printer Kickstarter campaign, a high-temperature material, a partnership, and a new podcast. The Factory One 3D printer...
GoEngineer Now Largest U.S. Distributor of VELO3D’s Metal 3D Printing Solutions
After a few years of working in secret, privately funded metal 3D printing startup VELO3D came on to the scene with a bang with the introduction of its innovative, patented...
Farsoon Launches Flame-Retardant Material and Post-Processing Solutions at Formnext
Farsoon Europe and Tiger Coatings have successfully developed a specialized thermoset material, with flame-retardant properties, for polymer laser sintering using Farsoon’s HT252P industrial 3D printing system. The material, TIGITAL 3D-Set...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.