The Engineer is reporting that the Wellcome Trust has infused £1.6 m to continue the development of the Spidrex regenerative meniscal system. A product of Orthox, an Oxford University spinoff, the strength of the material and its other properties are due to it being produced by extracting long protein chains from silk fibers.
From The Engineer:
Based on 10 years of research by Oxford University, Orthox’s absorbable implant takes over the function of the damaged tissue, removing the need for permanent plastic or metal prosthesis.
The company’s prototype targets the meniscus, a crescent-shaped cartilage pad located where the major bones of the leg connect. It works mainly as a stabilising tissue and is one of the most commonly injured parts of the knee, as well as the most difficult to repair.