Tissue engineering is an exciting field of interdisciplinary research that holds great potential for revolutionizing the treatment of traumati injury and disease. Synthetic materials hold the promise of biocompatibility, reduced foreign body response, and elimination of compliance mismatch. Despite these promises, major limitations still exist in the materials used today, especially in cartilage repair. Materials developed for use as cartilage replacements have found success in cosmetic applications;however development of a material that meets the extreme mechanical demands on cartilage in the joint remains a challenge. Thus, I aim to engineer a new type of synthetic cartilage that mimics the chemical structure of cartilage to reproduce the extraordinary material properties. This material will use motifs that mimic the chemical structure of the type II collagen and glycosaminoglycans in native cartilage. Using these motifs, a two or three-component system will be designed to gel in vivo and adhere to the native, damaged cartilage. The morphology of the material will be driven by self-assembly and nanophase separation.
The specific aims of this proposal are to (1) Develop an injectable block copolymer system that mimics the chemical structure of cartilage. (2) Examine biocompatibility and the ability of this system to gel and adhere to damaged cartilage in vitro. (3) Optimize and employ the synthetic cartilage gel to repair damaged cartilage in vivo.

Public Health Relevance

I aim to relieve the need for joint replacement by developing a synthetic, injectable material for cartilage replacement and regeneration. A two or three-component system that makes use motifs that mimic the chemical structure of the type II collagen and glycosaminoglycans in native cartilage will be designed to gel in vivo and the morphology of the material will be driven by self- assembly and nanophase separation. Mechanical properties of the material will also be controlled by chemical design.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
Project #
1F32EB018155-01A1
Application #
8784250
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Erim, Zeynep
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
City
Cambridge
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02142