Osteochondral defects (OCDs) – joint damage extending from cartilage into the underlying bone – are characterized by pain, loss of function and osteoarthritis. Autograft-based surgeries remain the “gold standard” to treat OCDs of the knee and other joints but are limited by defect size, donor site morbidity, and graft integration. As OCDs progress, total joint replacement is often required. Tissue engineering represents a promising alternative to heal OCDs of knees and other joints.
What we are doing
We are developing a regenerative engineering strategy that leverages a potently instructive hydrogel scaffold with a spatially-distributed, inorganic polymer component to direct associated cells to heal OCDs.