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Personalised 3D-tissue models: Reducing health inequities in cartilage therapies

24 months
Approved budget:
Professor Tim Woodfield
Dr Gabriella Lindberg
Associate Professor Khoon Lim
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Explorer Grant
Lay summary
Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 10% of New Zealanders and is commonly treated using metallic prostheses. With innovative technologies, surgical interventions have started to transform from total joint replacements to implanting “bioimplants” using patients’ own cells combined with biomaterials. However, these bioimplant platforms are not consistently successful due to large donor variability. A key issue is that these new bioimplants are often tested in near ideal surgical conditions, and are thus not optimised for patients suffering from end-stage OA. As Māori patients are known to present with more severe OA, they today have the worse postoperative outcomes. In this study, we aim to study differences in cellular performance between Māori and non-Māori patients and subsequently develop a personalised 3D-tissue model to optimise bioimplants also in diseased environments. Elucidating donor-to-donor variability and optimising bioimplants will aid in eliminating ethnic inequities to better meet the prevalent clinical issue of joint damage.