A synthetic non-degrading, non-drug releasing cartilage implant

Ashley Heuijerjans, Anne Vrancken (PD)

Cartilage defects are found in 63% of arthroscopic procedures, often in middle-aged patients. Operations to restore the cartilage are often unsuccessful and provide little benefit to patients in this age range. Currently metal implants are the method of choice for the treatment of these defects. However, since the biomechanical properties of these metal implants do not correspond to those of cartilage, these implants cause a gradual increase in the amount of cartilage damage in the surrounding tissue. In addition to this, when metal implants are used MRI diagnostics can no longer be used to visualise and monitor the wound area.

The aim of this project is to develop a non-resorbable implant for the treatment of cartilage defects. The biomechanical properties of the implant will be tailored to match the natural tissue and will lead to improved healing and a better clinical outcome compared to the current metal implants. Unlike the metal implants, the solutions developed here will still allow the use of non-invasive MRI imaging to monitor the healing progress.

Funding: InSciTe