STW grant for Dirk Grijpma to develop a FUTURE Meniscus

Together with professor Pieter Buma (Orthopedic Research Laboratory of the Radboud University Nijmegen), professor Dirk Grijpma has obtained an STW research grant (EUR 590,000) for developing a novel functional meniscus prosthesis. This FUTURE meniscus will be of enormous benefit for patients faced with an injured meniscus, as it will allow the formation of new tissue while slowly resorbing.

Menisci have an important function in load-bearing and load-distribution in the knee joint. Traumatic injuries of the meniscus occur particularly frequently in young sportsmen or -women. Due to their limited repair capacity, these injuries can result in severe functional knee problems, pain and overloading of the articular cartilage. Although the direct post-traumatic symptoms can be relieved by a partial or total meniscectomy, both treatments will cause overloading of articular cartilage and, as a consequence, induce pain and in many cases osteoarthritis in the long term. Many patients that have gone through a (sub)total meniscectomy in the past are now confronted with severe knee problems and most of them, although still relatively young, need a very invasive and expensive total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Currently there are no suitable clinical solutions for patients with a damaged meniscus.

They will develop a functional anatomically shaped meniscus implant using stereolithography . This resorbable meniscus implant for the regeneration of meniscus tissue will be prepared from novel light curing resins that form flexible resorbable networks by stereolithography. The new implant will be designed such that newly formed meniscus tissue will be optimally adapted to the mechanical requirements in the knee joint. The project will lead to technological breakthroughs that will improve healthcare by providing better treatment options for patients with a damaged meniscus.