Intelligent cartilage scaffolds for osteoarthritis
Cartilage degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis are treated using engineered scaffolds. However, to maximise the regenerative potential of these strategies, more specific cues are needed. The EU-funded ChondroCONNECT project will exploit connexins (Cx) in gap junctions as a mode of delivering small molecules with putative regenerative potential. The work will focus on Cx43, the most abundant form in cartilage and a therapeutic target for osteoarthritis. Scientists will investigate the role of Cx43 in osteoarthritis and develop a platform to knock down Cx43 and restore healthy metabolism. Through engineered Cx-containing proteoliposomes, ChondroCONNECT will improve existing strategies for cartilage repair in osteoarthritis.