Meniscus Characterization & Tissue Engineering

Motivation

Menisci have limited repair capability with tears resulting in pain, swelling, and mechanical instability.  Meniscal injuries are among the most common knee injuries and result in over 1 million surgeries a year in the US.  While there have been improvements in focal lesion repair, currently the only treatment for whole meniscal replacement is cadaveric allograft, which have a limited supply and carry a risk of disease transmission. Additionally, the meniscus requires an attachment into bone, an enthesis, to function properly. The strength of this attachment is correlated with patient recovery.

Current Research

  • Development of a tissue engineered whole meniscal replacement with enthesis attachments [Collaborations: Estroff Lab (Cornell)]
  • Development of a clinically relevant cell source
  • Characterize native meniscal enthesis [Collaborations: Estroff Lab (Cornell); Cohen Lab (Cornell)]
  • Develop tissue engineered enthesis construct [Collaborations: Estroff Lab (Cornell)]

We have developed an anatomically correct high density collagen meniscus and are currently investigating different cell sources, enthesis structure and properties, enthesis development, potential lubrication properties, and the use of chemical and mechanical stimulation to improve the organization and properties.

Lab Members

Collaborations

Cohen Lab – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Estroff Lab – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

 

2015_1043_055

Tissue engineered collagen meniscus.

 

 

 

2015_1043_039Tissue engineered meniscus implanted into ovine cadaver stifle.