16:18 PM

Synthetics hold promise as soft tissue alternative

Orthopedics Today speaks with experts including Scott A. Rodeo, MD, sports medicine surgeon, Vice Chair of Orthopaedic Research and Co-director of the Orthopaedic Soft Tissue Research Program at HSS, about the potential of synthetic implants as a soft tissue alternative in orthopedic procedures.

Dr. Rodeo explained, “If you could demonstrate that [synthetic soft tissue implants have] potential, especially in young patients, in replacing lost tissue and thus preventing ongoing issues and delaying things like knee replacement, then it can be economically advantageous. The challenge lies in identifying materials that are effective enough to be cost-effective.”

He noted that more research is needed to provide better understanding of the biology of the materials used in hybrid soft tissue implants, including how the cells interact with the synthetic material, whether the cells proliferate and how the cells can be stimulated to produce new matrix and new proteins.

Dr. Rodeo continued, “Another big area would be how can we implant these synthetic materials with exogenous cells. Could we take some stem cell or progenitor cell population outside the body and apply that to these materials and then apply the material?”

He added, “That has exciting potential because we put these materials in the body [and] we rely on the body’s own host cells to infiltrate the material. There is a lot we do not know about the cell types that infiltrate the material, how those cells interact with the material. Those are important areas.”

Read the full article at Healio.com/news/orthopedics.