Cartilage from Trees and Seaweed

Lab that 3D bioprints cartilage and knee meniscus publishes paper on making cartilage from seaweed and trees

07 November 2021

Surgery department researcher PhD candidate Michelle Lan has published a paper in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology answering the question: Can we make cartilage from trees and seaweed? Her supervisor, Dr. Adetola Adesida, is a world leader in 3D bioprinting of cartilage and knee meniscus

Ms. Lan explains, “The avascular inner regions of the knee menisci cannot self-heal. As a prospective treatment, functional replacements can be generated by cell-based 3D bioprinting with an appropriate cell source and biomaterial. To that end, human meniscus cell from surgical castoffs of partial meniscectomies, as well as cellulose nanofiber (from paper)-alginate (from seaweed) based hydrogels, have emerged as a promising cell source and biomaterial combination.” The objectives of the study were to first find the optimal formulations of cellulose nanofiber/alginate precursors for bioprinting, and then to use them to investigate redifferentiation and synthesis of functional inner meniscus-like extracellular matrix components by expanded hMFCs.