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Feb 3

UCL-China collaboration awarded Innovate UK-MoST grant to develop novel treatment for osteoarthritis

Katie Konyn

in News

An interdisciplinary UCL team, in collaboration with Oxford MEStar Ltd and partners in China, has been awarded a £2m Innovate UK-MoST grant to develop novel osteochondral scaffold technology as a treatment for early intervention of osteoarthritis.

  • Clinical pet dog model study has demonstrated that the novel osteochondral scaffold achieved stable fixation and supported healthy articular cartilage regeneration.
  • Image Above: Clinical pet dog model study has demonstrated that the novel osteochondral scaffold achieved stable fixation and supported healthy articular cartilage regeneration.

  • The project:

  • Osteochondral scaffold technology is a technique made possible by recent advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, which work with the body’s own natural mechanisms. The scaffold is implanted in the osteochondral defect of the patient where it acts as a physical support structure for cell growth and tissue regeneration. By attracting mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow the scaffold promotes the simultaneous regeneration of articular cartilage and underlining subchondral bone.

    Osteochondral scaffolding can be used to repair large cartilage defects in osteoarthritis patients, to either delay the need for or act as a cost effective alternative to joint replacement, and will help patients to lead a more active and pain-free lifestyle.

    Dr Chaozong Liu, UCL Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedic Bioengineering and project lead, comments:

  • “We are confident our scaffold technology has the potential to address this unmet clinical need. We have shown it has the strength needed to bear the physical load of the joints and its patented biomedical structure encourages consistent cartilage fill and a smooth articular surface.”

  • The project will establish a collaboration between the UK and China to translate osteochondral scaffold technology into clinical benefits for osteoarthritic patients, and will develop the scaffolds to be used in clinical trials. The project team from UCL is led by Dr Chaozong Liu from the UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science and includes Prof Gordon Blunn and Prof Alister Hart. The funding is jointly awarded by Innovate UK and MoST under the Newton Fund competition, subject to grant offer conditions being met.

    Read about the Moving Forward: From Brain to Muscle and Beyond Flagship Programme on the Institute of Healthcare Engineering website.