3D Printing Personalized Knee Implants: Novel Computational Geometric Models for Stem Cell Regeneration in Meniscus Tears
by Calvin Mathew
Abstract – The most common knee injury is a torn meniscus, affecting 65% of all adults and contact-sports athletes. This investigation 3D-printed novel composite meniscus implants by combining polycaprolactone scaffolds and gelatin/chondroitin sulfate hydrogels. The implants were personalized using knee tear MRIs and latticed using computational geometry. Finite element simulations were used to optimize lattice structure under physiological knee conditions. The resulting implants were characterized. The viscoelastic structure mimicked porcine tissue and supported the chondrogenic differentiation of ligament stem cells. Overall, the novel implant is a viable regeneration option, important in the context of sports medicine and the prevention of osteoarthritis.