Available technologies

Biomimetic osteochondral scaffold

Reference number: 5514


Articular cartilage damage or deterioration can be caused by injury or trauma, congenital abnormalities or hormonal disorders as osteoarthritis. Ankle, digits, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder or wrist can be affected by articular cartilage disorders. If damaged cartilage is not treated, it can worsen and eventually require joint structure replacement surgery. Articular cartilage is a difficult tissue to mimic as it is a highly organized, fibre-reinforced tissue with specific mechanical and biological properties.


A team at Imperial College London led by Professor Molly Stevens developed the Osteochondral Scaffold. The original 3D fibrous scaffold structurally mimics articular cartilage. It enhances natural cell-extracellular matrix interactions, promote cell proliferation and cartilage-like tissue formation. It provides a template to organize the newly deposited matrix. The scaffold is a 3D laminated construct comprising various nano to micron-sized fibres with anisotropic structure and composition.

Benefits Applications
  • Biomimetic composition with layers of varying fibre orientation, pore structure, and stiffness to closely align with natural cartilage.
  • Material can be used to repair larger defects, as the material is capable of bearing dynamic load while supporting tissue growth.
  • Mechanical properties provide a protective environment for the cells migrating or seeded into the scaffold. Based on scaffold design, scaffolds feature high cellular seeding efficiency and can be localized within different regions of the scaffold based on the local density, surface area and porosity; Scaffolds support long term production of cartilage like tissue as established through extensive in vitro characterization. Scaffold can be integrated with a number of bone substitutes.
  • The cartilage scaffold itself could be used in conjunction with microfracture.
  • It can be pre-seeded and cultured with chondrocytes.
  • Fused with the bone component, and can be used as an osteochondral plug.
  • Main application areas: Joint trauma or disorders (fall/impact; joint dislocation; ligament tear or meniscus tear) and osteoarthritis.

Download the datasheet


Marika Reay

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Senior Executive, Engineering


+44 (0)20 7594 6867

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