3D-Bioprinted Crocodile Cartilage May Treat Arthritis & Joint Injuries

Published by , August 10, 2018 1:26 pm

(3Ders.org)  Scientists from Central Queensland University are making use of 3D bioprinting and crocodile cartilage for a new way of treating arthritis and joint injuries. Crocodiles have very big articulating joints so they need a lot of cartilage to maintain that movement. Head Researcher Dr Padraig Strappe explained that valuable growth factors from the cartilage of crocodiles help to promote adult stem cells from fat tissue or bone marrow, to become cartilage. Along with a team of researchers from CQ University, Dr Strappe has been working on a process that extracts growth factors from crocodile cartilage and removes proteins that trigger an immune response in humans.
“That gives us a soup or a glue that might promote our own adult stem cells,” Dr Stappe said. “We hope that might promote cartilage repair, which is a big challenge and becoming more so in elderly populations.” After the croc cartilage ‘soup’ is added to the adult stem cells, a 3D printer is used to bio-print cartilage explants that could eventually be injected into damaged human joints to fill the hole. “With 3D printing we can mimic that hole or that gap so potentially the orthopaedic surgeon could fill in that gap with a little cartilage explant to repair the joint,” said Dr Strappe.

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