3D Printing A New Knee Joint


The meniscus, a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage, acts as a “shock absorber” in the knee. Each year, 1.5 million people have surgery to treat meniscus tears in the U.S. and Europe. The people most affected are athletes and the elderly.


Although the most common surgeries, which remove or repair the torn meniscus, can relieve symptoms temporarily, meniscus transplantation is still the best long-term option. However, like other tissue/organ transplantations, this treatment includes many fundamental limitations such as a shortage of donors and the risk of disease transmission. Moreover, managing the supply chain of the transplantation system, which involves meniscus allocation, procurement, testing and transportation, is difficult.

Dr. Li Zeng, an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University, recently received an Operations Engineering Award from the National Science Foundation for her 3D printing-enabled meniscus transplantation system research project. The research project began in 2016…

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