A torn meniscus in the knee is one of the most common injuries that athletes, soldiers, and regular folks tend to suffer from. Surgery is an option, but today’s techniques are severely lacking and often the final result is a lack of healing coupled with osteoarthritis later in life. Now, researchers from Duke University have presented a new implantable scaffold that can help the meniscus to heal better and faster.
Previously, all kinds of scaffolds have been developed to address how torn menisci are surgically treated. These have been shown to have a host of limitations. The new scaffold is derived from pig meniscus, so it has a lot of the beneficial properties of natural tissue. It is created without any chemicals or enzymes, retaining a good deal of the natural properties needed to welcome new cells into its interior. Because the new material is very porous, more so than previously developed similar devices, native cells can penetrate and establish themselves within it much faster.
The researchers tested the new scaffold in vitro and demonstrated that it helps menisci to heal considerably more rapidly than when it was not used.
Study in Scientific Reports: Meniscus-Derived Matrix Scaffolds Promote the Integrative Repair of Meniscal Defects