Advancements in Technology to Restore Knee Cartilage

Osteochondral allograft transplantation effective for certain knee cartilage repairs

Dr. Robert Spiro, Senior Vice President, Biologics, Development, Scientific and Clinical Affairs at Aesculap Biologics, LLC joins Dr. Brian Cole and Steve Kashul to discuss biologic challenges faced in treating damaged cartilage and the importance of restoring damaged cartilage in preserving joint integrity. They also discuss technology currently in development for cartilage injury treatment and eligibility in a current Aesculap clinical trial.

About Knee Cartilage

Your knee is under a lot of pressure, so it’s no wonder that just one false move can result in injury to the ligaments and cartilage in the joint. Cartilage is the surface on the ends of the bones in your knee that allow the joint’s surfaces to glide friction-free. Symptoms of knee cartilage injuries include pain, swelling, popping in the joint and locking of the joint. Daily activities such as sitting down, standing up, or walking up stairs may become difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to help alleviate your symptoms.

Causes of Cartilage Injuries

Knee cartilage may be injured through activity, trauma, or a disease such as osteochondritis dessicans that affects the bone beneath the cartilage and causes the overlaying cartilage to “blister.” These types of injuries are called focal defects because they usually affect a portion of the cartilage in that joint.

Dr. Spiro received his BSc from McGill University, Montreal, Canada and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. His academic career included a Post-Doctoral fellowship and Assistant Professorship in the Department of Immunology at the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA with research focused on cancer immunology and the extracellular matrix.

His industry career spans several start-up companies including Telios Pharmaceuticals, Orquest Inc., Fibrogen Inc., ISTO Technologies and Carbylan Therapeutics.  He has been involved in the design and development of wound healing, orthopedic and spine drug, device and biologic-device combination products including the Healos® bone graft substitute, the DeNovo NT® Graft for cartilage repair, and the InQu® bone graft substitute.

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Clinical Trial to Repair Articular Cartilage Defects of the Knee

Dr. Brian Cole talks with Chris Zlevor, a patient who experienced three knee surguries before participating in the Aesculap Novacart 3D Clinical Trial. This discussion covers the process of participation and followup experience as a patient in the study. Aesculap Biologics focuses on the manufacturing of tissue engineered products for the regeneration of diseased or damaged joint tissues.

A Phase 3 clinical trial is currently being conducted for NOVOCART 3D, a tissue engineered cell-based product designed to repair articular cartilage defects of the knee. If you believe you or your patients might qualify for one of our clinical trials or wish to be evaluated, please contact our research administrator, Kavita Ahuja, MD at (312) 563-2214 or kavita.ahuja@rushortho.com or inquire at your next visit.

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Advances in Regenerative Medicine to Repair Damaged Tissue

Dr. Brian Cole and Steve Kashul talk about advances in regenerative medicine to repair damaged tissue including Aesculap products used to repair cartilage defects of the knee and the process of the healing.

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