3D-PRINTED TISSUE COULD FIX ATHLETES’ DAMAGED JOINTS

Scientists engineered scaffolds that replicate the physical characteristics of osteochondral tissue—basically, hard bone beneath a compressible layer of cartilage that appears as the smooth surface on the ends of long bones.

Injuries to these bones, from small cracks to pieces that break off, are painful and often stop an athlete’s career in its tracks. Osteochondral injuries can also lead to disabling arthritis.

The gradient nature of cartilage-into-bone and its porosity have made it difficult to reproduce in the lab, but Antonios Mikos, a bioengineer at Rice University and graduate student Sean Bittner used 3D printing to fabricate what they believe will eventually offer a suitable material for implantation.

Full story at futurity.org