Bioengineered scaffolds are engineered structures designed to encourage the ingrowth of living cells and be implanted into the body.

 

Types of bioengineered scaffold

This is a very active field of research and development, and the main groups of materials include -

  • Synthetic scaffolds, eg polyurethane
  • Hydrogel scaffolds, eg synthetic materials such as poly N-isopropyl acrylamide, or natural materials such as alginate.
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM) component scaffolds, formed primarily from a macromolecule abundant in native matrix, eg collagen meniscus implants or hyaluronan scaffolds.
  • Tissue-derived scaffolds include processed whole tissue such as small intestinal submucosa, decellularised tissue or extracellular matrix, and silk

 

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Ian McDermott FRCS explains the current options for managing a meniscus tear.

Meniscus replacement

Replacing damaged meniscus tissue with a graft or a scaffold.

An 'interpretation' of a 2008 paper looking at whether the use of a collagen meniscus is valuable after meniscus injury. The conclusion was there there was some likely benefit in patients who had had a previous meniscectomy but not in patients who had just torn their meniscus.

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CLINICAL PUBLICATIONS

An Overview of Scaffold Design and Fabrication Technology for Engineered Knee Meniscus Sun J, Vijayavenkataraman S and Liu H. Materials (Basel). 2017 Jan; 10(1): 29.

The knee meniscus: structure-function, pathophysiology, current repair techniques, and prospects for regeneration. Makris EA, Hadidi P and Athanasiou KA. Biomaterials. 2011 Oct; 32(30): 7411–7431.


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