Development of a Biostable Meniscus Prosthesis
In this project we will develop a meniscus implant based on converging unique chemical, mechanical and biological knowledge of the partners. We will develop a non-resorbable, biostable implant that will be suitable to replace the severely damaged meniscus in the knee joint with starting osteoarthritis.
The primary challenge is to develop a meniscus implant that will be chondroprotective, relieve the pain of the patient and stabilise the knee joint. Hereto novel medical grade, very strong, yet flexible and wear resistant polymers will be developed by DSM for use in an artificial replacement of the meniscus. Advanced materials science and material processing technology methods will be used to ensure adaptive fitting, optimal load-transfer and pressure distribution in all positions of the joint. Moreover, the implant will be designed with bone anchoring devices to guarantee immediate and long-term fixation and allow implantation using minimally invasive surgical techniques. State-of-the-art in silico and in vitro mechanical and biological testing and characterization will be employed. Computer simulation models in combination with cadaveric testing will predict the effects of various design characteristics on the in-vivo fixation, functioning and survival of the meniscus implant.
Employing advanced computer models as tools to design anisotropic implant structures is a highly innovative approach. By the end of the project, TRAMMPOLIN will have developed a biostable meniscus implant with proven chondroprotective properties and anisotropic, spatially heterogeneous mechanical properties to functionally restore the meniscus. The dedicated participation of academic partners with DSM and Biomet will be a guarantee for clinical implementation.