Queen’s Engineering researchers developing new ways to 3D-print replacement knee cartilage

Posted on January 27, 2020

Amsden-MathewThe menisci, a pair of horseshoe-shaped cartilaginous pads that help to stabilize the knee joint and that act as shock absorbers between the bones of your upper and lower legs, are critical to healthy knee function. Torn or missing menisci can cause pain, inflammation, and instability in the joint and, even with surgical intervention, can accelerate the onset and progression of osteoarthritis. Even young people with damaged menisci may endure months or years of recurring discomfort, inflammation, and surgery only to need knee replacement surgery later in their lives.

If there were a way to replace or repair menisci more easily and definitively, long before the effects of osteoarthritis destroy the knee, years of limping around and sitting out could be saved among untold numbers of patients, and most knee replacement surgeries might be avoided altogether. A research group led by Queen’s Chemical Engineering Professor Dr. Brian Amsden is working on a solution to that problem that might one day equip doctors to make new, living menisci specific to the dimensions and biological and mechanical qualities of each individual patient.

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