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Polymers 2016, 8(6), 219; doi:10.3390/polym8060219

Polymers in Cartilage Defect Repair of the Knee: Current Status and Future Prospects

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, P. Debyelaan 25, Maastricht 6229 HX, The Netherlands
2
DSM Biomedical, Koestraat 1, Geleen 6167 RA, The Netherlands
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, Eindhoven 5600 MB, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jianxun Ding
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Medical Applications)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1458 KB, uploaded 4 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Cartilage defects in the knee are often seen in young and active patients. There is a need for effective joint preserving treatments in patients suffering from cartilage defects, as untreated defects often lead to osteoarthritis. Within the last two decades, tissue engineering based techniques using a wide variety of polymers, cell sources, and signaling molecules have been evaluated. We start this review with basic background information on cartilage structure, its intrinsic repair, and an overview of the cartilage repair treatments from a historical perspective. Next, we thoroughly discuss polymer construct components and their current use in commercially available constructs. Finally, we provide an in-depth discussion about construct considerations such as degradation rates, cell sources, mechanical properties, joint homeostasis, and non-degradable/hybrid resurfacing techniques. As future prospects in cartilage repair, we foresee developments in three areas: first, further optimization of degradable scaffolds towards more biomimetic grafts and improved joint environment. Second, we predict that patient-specific non-degradable resurfacing implants will become increasingly applied and will provide a feasible treatment for older patients or failed regenerative treatments. Third, we foresee an increase of interest in hybrid construct, which combines degradable with non-degradable materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional synthetic polymers; functional natural polymers; biomaterials; tissue engineering; cartilage repair; knee joint; scaffold; biomimetic; resurfacing functional synthetic polymers; functional natural polymers; biomaterials; tissue engineering; cartilage repair; knee joint; scaffold; biomimetic; resurfacing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jeuken, R.M.; Roth, A.K.; Peters, R.J.R.W.; van Donkelaar, C.C.; Thies, J.C.; van Rhijn, L.W.; Emans, P.J. Polymers in Cartilage Defect Repair of the Knee: Current Status and Future Prospects. Polymers 2016, 8, 219.

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