Treatment Solutions for Knee Meniscus Tears Developed by IIT Guwahati Researchers
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Written by Arushi Sharma
29 Mar, 2024
2 min read
Knee meniscus tears are a common injury that can significantly impact mobility. Researchers from IIT Guwahati have developed three new custom-made regenerative treatments using hydrogels to address this challenge.
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Researchers from IIT Guwahati and University of Animal and Fishery Sciences developed three innovative hydrogel solutions for treating knee meniscus tears.

In a groundbreaking development, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, in collaboration with the University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata, have devised three innovative treatment solutions for a specific type of knee injury that has long posed challenges in treatment.

The breakthrough therapies offer custom-made regenerative treatments for knee meniscus tears, presenting promising alternatives for managing this complex issue.

Knee meniscus tears, often resulting from everyday activities, sports injuries, or aging, have historically been difficult to treat due to the intricate nature of the knee joint's cushioning tissue. Such injuries can severely impact an individual's ability to engage in routine activities like walking or running.

The new treatments, detailed in three manuscripts published across two international journals—Applied Materials Today and Advanced Biology—are the result of collaborative efforts led by Prof. Biman B. Mandal from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Guwahati. Prof. Mandal, along with his team comprising Ashutosh Bandyopadhyay, Baishali Ghibhela, and Sayanti Shome, collaborated with experts Dr. Debajyoti Pal, Dr. Samsamul Hoque, and Prof. Samit K. Nandi from the University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata.

Discussing the research, Prof. Mandal emphasized the tailored nature of the treatment approaches, aimed at facilitating rapid healing of meniscus tears or replacing damaged tissue. The team meticulously addressed factors such as shape and size variability of the meniscus across different age groups, ensuring optimal healing outcomes.

Traditionally, healing knee meniscus tears has been challenging due to the tissue's limited blood supply. Surgical removal of damaged tissue can lead to long-term discomfort and osteoarthritis, posing significant mobility and livelihood concerns for millions worldwide.

The researchers at IIT Guwahati devised three hydrogel formulations, blending silk fibroin and other polymers, as potential solutions for meniscus injuries. Notably, silk offers strength, bioactivity, and flexibility, making it an ideal component for such applications. Moreover, these formulations are cost-effective compared to commercially available alternatives.

Among the three formulations, one is an injectable hydrogel designed for minimally invasive treatment of smaller injuries, while the other two are 3D bio-printable inks suitable for complex, full-thickness meniscus injuries. These bioinks, enriched with growth factors, facilitate sustained release for enhanced healing.

The incorporation of 3D printing technology enables custom fabrication of implants tailored to individual patients, ensuring optimal fit and promoting rapid recovery. Prof. Mandal highlighted the urgency of personalized, affordable implants in clinical settings, addressing shortcomings associated with conventional treatments.

By offering personalized and effective treatment options, these pioneering techniques hold the potential to improve the quality of life for millions suffering from meniscus injuries. The research signifies a significant stride towards addressing a longstanding medical challenge, heralding hope for enhanced recovery and mobility for patients worldwide.

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