Development of a Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC)-based Tri-layered Osteochondral Graft for Osteoarthritis (OA) Treatment
Dr Chan, Barbara Pui (Project coordinator)
Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell, Tri-layered Osteochondral Graft, Osteoarthritis
Others - Mechanical, Production and Industrial Engineering
HKU Project Code
Innovation and Technology Fund Internship Programme
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic musculoskeletal disease affecting the entire joint. Tissue alterations including cartilage degradation, joint inflammation, changes in bone and cartilage-bone interface, have been reported. Among them, compromised integrity and function of the osteochondral interface is common to all OA. Existing therapies such as pain management are only symptom-relieving but not disease-modifying. Existing attempts to modify the disease only target at individual tissues but not the osteochondral interface. We are the first and the only group so far demonstrating in vitro generation of an intact osteochondral interface using mesenchymal stem cells. Moreover, our recent in vivo results in rabbit focal defects strongly suggest the significance of regenerating the osteochondral interface in cartilage repair. However, the tri-layered osteochondral graft developed for repairing focal defects in trauma or sports injuries cannot be directly translated into treatment for OA. This is because of the hostile inflammatory, catabolic and mechanical macro- and micro-environments in OA. Here, we aim to develop, customize and optimize the tri-layered osteochondral graft with sustained viability, intact interface, continuous remodeling capability and normal function under osteoarthritic conditions. If successful, this project will extend the application of our tri-layered osteochondral graft into novel interface-targeting therapies for OA.