AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 9 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.18063/ijb.693
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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Meniscus heterogeneity and 3D-printed strategies for engineering anisotropic meniscus

Ming-Ze Du Yun Dou Li-Ya Ai1 Tong Su1 Zhen Zhang1 You-Rong Chen1* Dong Jiang1*
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1 Department of Sports Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, Institute of Sports Medicine of Peking University, Beijing Key Laboratory of Sports Injuries, Beijing, 100191, China
Submitted: 25 August 2022 | Accepted: 12 November 2022 | Published: 27 February 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

The meniscus is a fibrocartilaginous tissue of the knee joint that plays an important role in load transmission, shock absorption, joint stability maintenance, and contact stress reduction. Mild meniscal injuries can be treated with simple sutures, whereas severe injuries inevitably require meniscectomy. Meniscectomy destroys the mechanical microenvironment of the knee joint, leading to cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. Tissue engineering techniques, as a strategy with diverse sources and customizable and adjustable mechanical and biological properties, have emerged as promising approaches for the treatment of meniscal injuries and are represented by 3D printing. Notably, the heterogeneity of the meniscus, including its anatomical structure, cell phenotype, extracellular matrix, and biomechanical properties, is crucial for its normal function. Therefore, the construction of heterogeneous tissue-engineered menisci (TEM) has become a research hotspot in this field. In this review, we systematically summarize the heterogeneity of menisci and 3D-printed strategies for tissue-engineered anisotropic menisci. The manufacturing techniques, biomaterial combinations, surface functionalization, growth factors, and bioreactors related to 3D-printed strategies are introduced and a promising direction for the future research is proposed.

Keywords
Meniscus
Heterogeneity
Tissue engineering
3D printing
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing