Researchers have replaced the knee’s meniscus, or protective lining, in sheep by implanting a 3D-printed scaffold infused with human growth factors that prompt the body to regenerate the lining on its own (Lee CH et al. Sci Transl Med. 2014;6:266ra171).
The Columbia University Medical Center–led team generated a 3D image of the intact meniscus, which was then used to instruct a 3D printer to produce a biodegradable polycaprolactone scaffold in the exact shape of the meniscus. The scaffold was infused with connective growth factor and transforming growth factor β3, which are released with spatiotemporal specificity and capable of inducing stem cells to form collagen-producing cells within the scaffold in culture.
Hampton T. Knee Cartilage Regenerated With 3D-Printed Scaffold. JAMA. 2015;313(5):455. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.18089