Professor Chaozong Liu is leading a Rosetrees Trust-funded project, with postdoctoral research associate Dr. Maryam Tamaddon, to investigate a tissue engineering approach for the treatment of cartilage damage, as a result of repetitive injuries or osteoarthritis.

Based at UCL Institute of Musculoskeletal and Orthopaedic Sciences, the team have already developed a novel ex vivo bone plug model for evaluating scaffold technology in order to speed up translation of this technology into clinical practice. They have also demonstrated improved mechanical and biological parameters in various model systems, both in vitro and in vivo.

Dr. Maryam Tamaddon

The team have recently received ethical approval to access young patients’ tissue for use in their project. “This is an important step because there is variability between children and adults for this type of study, and children are currently under-investigated. This allows the researchers to understand the osteoarthritis development at early stage”, as quoted by Dr. Maryam Tamaddon.

Significantly, a Phase I clinical trial has been agreed to start in October 2019, with a cohort of 20 patients. This will take place at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, NHS Trust, for patients with knee joint cartilage damage. Safety is being considered as the primary outcome. The results from this trial will be relevant to clinicians, because this will offer a new treatment option for treatment of cartilage damage.


Professor Chaozong Liu

Once the Phase I clinical trial has begun, this will facilitate subsequent running of other trials in parallel and recruitment of more patients.

Professor Chaozong Liu from University College London, who is leading this research, commented, “We have demonstrated that the novel Bone Plug Model, developed under a Rosetrees Trust award, is able to provide more relevant human tissue-scaffold interactions, and speed up the translation of novel technology into clinical practice. We are very happy with the achievement and very grateful for Rosetrees Trust for supporting our work.”

Written by: Rebecca Downing and Professor Chaozong Liu