Guiding the Cartilage Repair Microenvironment


A novel method to improve the effectiveness of marrow-mediated cartilage repair.

Key Benefits

  • Enhances the efficacy of the marrow stimulation procedure for cartilage repair.
  • Priming the cartilage repair environment to enable subsequent healthy tissue growth.
  • Potential to become a one-step, implementable, and effective treatment for focal cartilage injury.

Market Summary

Cartilage injuries are widespread, with an estimated 900,000 cases in the US annually. Most cartilage injuries occur in the knee in the weight-bearing areas of the joint. Unlike other tissues in the body, cartilage cannot heal as it lacks an adequate blood supply. Marrow stimulation is used to treat small areas of damaged cartilage in joints. Surgeons create tiny holes in the bone beneath the damaged cartilage to recruit blood and bone marrow into the cartilage void, forming a clot to promote repair. Unfortunately, the procedure has limited efficacy in most cases due to uncontrolled cell response. Market growth is driven by the rising prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders, the benefits of cartilage repair procedures, and technological advancements in regenerative medicine. Also, the sector is being boosted by the demand for minimally invasive procedures and the increasing adoption of tissue engineering and stem cell therapies.

Technical Summary

Researchers at Emory are developing a novel technique for improving microfracture by modifying the repair microenvironment at the time of the procedure. The inventors administer several agents locally to the repair site during surgery, including clot formation agonists, cell contractility agents, and anti-fibrinolytics, to reduce clot contraction and maintain the volume of tissue repair. This microenvironmental control potentially leads to the formation of more robust, more resilient repair tissue that is more similar to healthy cartilage. In addition, the inventors have demonstrated in vitro data showing the method can stimulate cartilage growth.

Developmental Stage

Preclinical proof of concept data available.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
PCT PCT PCT/US2023/029495   8/4/2023   Pending
Tech ID: 22091
Published: 5/16/2023