Hip Joint Resurfacing with Functional Human Cartilage

Period of Performance: 09/01/2007 - 08/31/2009

$237K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Cytex Therapeutics Inc.
Durham, NC 27705
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Degenerative joint disease accounts for substantial human suffering at tremendous social and economic cost. While prosthetic joint replacement is a well-established procedure, a finite life span makes this treatment unacceptable for younger or active individuals who often require progressively complicated revision surgeries. The goal of this Phase I STTR is to develop an implant suitable for complete resurfacing of an osteoarthritic femoral head of the human hip joint and proven ability to integrate with bone by using stem cells and a cartilage-mimetic scaffold. The two novelties of this work are: (i) accelerated generation of mechanically functional cartilage within a brief period of in vitro culture and (ii) resurfacing of an entire joint instead of a focal defect. We will create a hemispherical layer of cartilage that replicates the load-bearing properties of the native tissue by combining adult human stem cells with a biomaterial scaffold made by a new three-dimensional (3D) weaving technology and a novel, highly scalable cell culture device. Maturation and growth of the engineered tissue will be monitored by non-destructive MRI and biomechanical testing, and functional integration with vital bone will be assessed using a subcutaneous pouch model in an immunodeficient rodent. The combination of these emergent regenerative medical technologies is expected to provide a novel means of developing functional tissue engineered constructs that can improve the success of cartilage repair procedures. This project represents a Phase I STTR to combine adult human stem cell and three-dimensional weaving technologies to create a layer of cartilage that can integrate with bone. The two primary novelties of this work are: (i) accelerated generation of mechanically functional cartilage within a brief period of in vitro culture and (ii) resurfacing of an entire joint instead of a focal defect. The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a tissue engineering approach that can be used to resurface large segments of the joint that have been affected by degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.