Development of a naturally derived biomaterial with controlled regional extracellular matrix heterogeneity for orthopaedic interface regeneration

Darryl Athos Dickerson, Purdue University


The repair of interfaces between hard and soft tissues is one of the most challenging problems in orthopaedic medicine. Examples include full thickness articular cartilage defects, ruptured growth plates, and degenerated intervertebral discs. The most prominent clinical manifestation of this orthopaedic challenge is seen in the repair of soft connective tissue (ligament and tendon) ruptures. The contiguous and mechanically functional orthopaedic interface permits smooth load transfer between motion segments in the body. Using current grafts and surgical methods, when injured soft connective tissues are repaired, often the normal structure of the orthopaedic interface fails to regenerate. Tissue engineering may provide an alternative solution. Much of the tissue engineering work for these soft connective tissues, however, has only focused on either the hard or the soft sections of the tissue. To be effective, the orthopaedic interfaces must be recreated to restore proper function and ensure biological integration with the host tissue. To address this challenge, we developed, characterized and modified an orthopaedic interface template derived from natural materials that has a continuous connection between the hard and soft tissue regions and maintains a high level of nutrient transport. Preliminary in vivo studies indicate the formation of a heterogeneous interface similar to that of the normal tendon orthopaedic interface. The results of this work provide solid foundation for the development of a robust, clinically applicable methods to guide the endogenous regeneration of complex tissue structures.




Nauman, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Surgery|Biomechanics

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