Natural and Artificial Polymer Blends for Meniscus Repair and Regeneration




This technology is related to the unique bio-ink blend developed for tissue engineering and 3-dimensional (3D) printing of meniscus tissue. 3D printing technology is often limited by unavailability of appropriate bio-inks, that could provide finest print resolution, adequalte physiochemical cues for cell development and excellent mechanical strength. Lack of any of the above mentioned qualities would compromise the success of the 3D contruct. The 3D construct produced by this unique blend improved the mechanical properties, and were comparable to the native meniscus tissue. This is benefinical for in vivo cell differentiation and tissue remodeling.


A meniscus scaffold for treating meniscus defects, comprising: oly-caprolactone (PCL) having poly-caprolactone (PCL) ink printed in 3-dimensional directions thereon, poly(lactic acid-co-ɛ-caprolactone) (PLC) adapted to create hybrid scaffolds with PCL, whereby the PCL:PLC having a ratio of any one of 100:0, 70:30, 60:40, 50:50, 40:60, 30:70 and 0:100. A method of producing meniscus scaffold comprising: creating meniscus scaffold by using biocompatible polymers as one of the material, printing meniscus scaffold using bio-ink in 3-dimensional directions, modifying the printed meniscus scaffold to obtain physical constructs with lower stiffness in order to match the mechanical properties of the native meniscus by selecting poly(lactic acid-co-ɛ-caprolactone) (PLC) as the co-polymer to create hybrid scaffolds with bio-ink.


Potential applications include but not limited to:- Vivo cell differentiation and tissue remodeling  Treatment of meniscus injury Meniscus repair and regeneration  Meniscal implants  Meniscus replacement development Point-of care medical manufacturing  Tissue engineering and 3-dimensional (3D) printing of meniscus tissue Restitution of meniscus structure and function Synthesize the meniscus implant with refined architecture and exact geometry which matches the patient’s original meniscus


Meniscal injuries are a significant predisposing risk factor for the development of knee osteoarthritis. It is estimated that patients with prior meniscal injuries have 15-fold increase odds of undergoing total knee replacement surgery (TKR) for osteoarthritis. It has been estimated that the socio-economic burden of OA is substantial, and has been estimated to constitute as much as 1.05% to 1.5% of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite this, treatment strategies for large or complex meniscal injuries, especially in the inner avascular zone, remain suboptimal. Small tears in the vascular zone of the meniscus that do not compromise biomechanical stability can be managed conservatively. The gold standard for managing larger tears, especially in the relatively avascular zones, is meniscal suture repair, with the aim of maximizing tissue preservation. In patients with tears not amenable to surgical repair, the use of allograft transplantation can be considered but is expensive, is infrequently available and has issues related to sterility. Despite recent improvements in arthroscopic repair techniques, it has been reported that up to 14-22% still progress on to developing knee OA compared to their contralateral knee. To successfully address the problem of large or complex meniscal injuries by providing access to early intervention tackles significant potential downstream disability-related economic burden related to osteoarthritis.