Replacing Knee Shock Absorber
Researchers in Columbia University have grown new tissue for knee joints, the meniscal tissues which form a shock absorber for the knee. The torn meniscus is a common injury which is painful ,will cause swelling and irritation and if not repaired can cause arthritis. The tissue is monocellular and the new technique of creating a scaffold with biocompatible material using a 3D printer and then growing new tissue on it, has now been proved.
3D Printer Used to make Scaffold
Doctor Jeremy Mao and his team came up with the accurate method of printing the scaffold and then dispensing proteins to stimulate the re growth of the tissue. First an MRI scan of the undamaged knee is used to create a 3D image of the meniscus. This is used to 3D print the scaffold on an Envision TEC bioplotter, capable of many heat settings and different materials on a very small scale. The scaffold material is a Polycaprolactone ( bio degradable polymer )
Another fine example of 3D printing benefits