The University of Missouri Friday announced the discovery of a process to minimize the side effect of painful arthritis that develop after knee surgeries.
The procedure will be tested in human clinical trials this summer if the process is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Columbia, Mo-based school said.
The new process has been developed by James Cook, professor of veterinary medicine and surgery.
In most knee surgeries, patients experience painful arthritis as they age, the university said.
One common cause of osteoarthritis occurs when an area of knee cartilage is damaged and must be removed during surgery. The cartilage, known as the meniscus, is a shock absorber in the knee.
When torn or damaged, the meniscus typically does not heal on its own, and the damaged portion is removed and not replaced.
Cook's research is designed to encourage the meniscus to repair itself, while minimizing progression of osteoarthritis for the patient.
"Other studies have shown the amount of arthritis a person experiences is related to the amount of meniscus you have left in your knee," Cook said. "In our animal studies, we have been able to grow back 90 percent of the meniscus on average. Using tissue engineering and biological stimulation through the implantation of a scaffold derived from pig intestines, we show the tissue where it needs to grow."