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Bone grafting research gets a boost at the Arizona Arthritis Center Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 21:06

The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) was founded in 1987 and is the nation's largest tissue bank.  Grants and research programs represent a focal point of their mission.  Recently the Arizona Arthritis Center's Director of Orthopaedic Research was awarded a grant by the MTF.


Also a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. John A. Szivek's research specializes in "biomaterials", among other topic areas.  This MTF-funded project aims to combine tissue-engineered cartilage produced from fat-derived stem cells with bone allografts from tissue donors for a reconstructive bone grafting procedure called mosaicplasty.


The demand for bone and cartilage, called osteochondral, allografts is rapidly increasing.  These grafts are being used to treat focal cartilage defects in addition to their use in cancer and trauma.  Often top quality donor material is unavailable, thus increasing the demand for techniques to facilitate upgrading of marginal allografts.


In an osteochondral allograft, the osseous (bone) component primarily acts as a stabilizer to the cartilage, and is often adequate for this function as bone healing and remodeling at the graft margins result in rapid stabilization.  However, the chondral (cartilage) segments must match the configurational parameters - in essence the size and shape - of the implant site.  They cannot have damage or surface incongruities.  These stringent requirements make it difficult to match the recipients' needs, creating a smaller bank of useable source material.


The clinical impact of Dr. Szivek's project is that resurfacing osteochondral allografts will make it easier for tissue banks to match the needs of recipients and will support the expanded use of osteochondral allograft in mosaicplasty.  This approach may also be useful to resurface large-segment osteochondral allografts and improve the long-term success of this approach in cancer and trauma patients.



For more information about the Arizona Arthritis Center and its research, visit its website or call (520)-626-4206.


Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2009 16:50