Cartilage is a thin layer of tissue at the ends of our bones. There it forms a kind of cushion so the joints can move smoothly. It owes its strength to an inventive architecture of collagen fibres in the tissue. This architecture can best be compared to that of an old Roman bridge, which can last for years thanks to this architecture.
However, the problem is that our bodies cannot repair the collagen structure of the cartilage when it is damaged, for example, by accident, disease or simply because we are getting older. Wouldn't it be great if we could repair this structure ourselves, just as with a bridge?
And that is exactly what we are doing in our research. We use 3D bioprinting technologies to create living cartilage implants, which replace the original damaged tissue and bring back the strength. So through the inspiration we get from the builders of the ancient bridges, we can provide a solution for the many patients who suffer from damage to their joints.