Membrane or implant that mimic healthy subchondral bone microarchitecture for treating joint-related diseases
Scientist at the University Medicine Göttingen, Germany developed a method for determining the health-state of a joint (e.g. in osteoarthritis) by analyzing subchondral bone microarchitecture. The invention not only allows diagnosis, but also the design of a biocompatible membrane and/or an implant for the replacement and finally regeneration of damaged subchondral bone allowing regeneration of cartilage and joint function.
ChallengeArticular cartilage and subchondral bone interact cooperatively and synergistically through a complex interface, which influences the functionality and the degree of health of the whole joint. Joint diseases such as osteoarthritis are diseases affecting both the articular cartilage (AC) and the microstructure of the subchondral bone (SB).
The SB has previously been found to comprise microchannels. It is thought that these microchannels play a crucial role in the nutrient transport to the overlying cartilage, as well as the waste disposal from the joint and synovial efflux. Thus, cartilage nutrition and drainage appear to be highly dependent on the presence and functionality of microchannel structures within the SB, i.e. the microarchitecture of the subchondral bone seems to have a huge impact on cartilage vitality and longevity.
However, in diseased conditions this interplay between SB and cartilage appears to be impaired, ultimately leading to cartilage destruction and finally joint failure (osteoarthritis).
Based on the above findings, the inventors are able to describe the architectural features that constitute a healthy SB microarchitecture. This can be used as for determining the health-state of a joint. The invention further provides a design for a biocompatible membrane and/or an implant based on this architectural specification allowing for the replacement and finally regeneration of the damaged subchondral bone leading to healthy cartilage structures.
Surgical treatment of joint diseases using special biocompatible membranes or implants comprising microchannels.
A US priority patent application has been filed (applicant: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts, Universitätsmedizin).
Dr. Stefan Uhle