A team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has been successful in 3D bioprinting of cartilage using a bioink.
The bioink has high concentration of bone-marrow derived cartilage stem cells, silk proteins and a few factors.
The chemical composition of the bioink supports cell growth and long-term survival of the cells.
The cartilage developed in the lab has remained physically stable for up to six weeks.
While the cartilage found in the knee is an articular cartilage that is typically sponge-like and has a huge load-bearing capacity, the ones produced in the lab so far are of a different kind — transient cartilage.
Unlike articular cartilage, transient cartilage becomes bone cells and, therefore, brittle within a short time.
As a result, the engineered cartilage loses its capacity to bear huge load that is typically encountered in the knee.