Advanced design of engineered constructs for optimal soft tissue repair
The articular cartilage (AC) is a connective tissue that is essential for the smooth movement of joints. Damage to it leads to joint osteoarthritis (OA), causing restriction of joint movement. Tissue engineering approaches present a promising treatment option through the replacement of the damaged tissues with tissue-engineered (TE) constructs. The current hypothesis is that mechanical signals can improve the functional integration of TE constructs into host cartilage and that such mechanical signals can be tuned using an optimal distribution of material stiffness and cell density. The aim of the EU-funded MADE-TEC project is to develop a computational model that simulates the biomechanical and growth behaviours of the TE constructs and the host cartilage to determine the optimal design for functional integration into the cartilage.