Dr. Aram Saeed and Dr. Graham Riley are Rosetrees Trust-funded researchers, based at the University of East Anglia, who are leading a project on investigating the development of a 3D printed implantable device for tendon regeneration and rupture repair. Dr. Eleanor Jones has been previously working on this project, and Miss Noelia Dominguez Falcon is the PhD candidate who is now working on this project. It is anticipated that this device could improve the clinical outcomes for patients suffering from tendon injuries.

Dr. Aram Saeed

This is what Aram had to say:
“Tendon injury is common and debilitating, and it is associated with long-term pain and ineffective healing, and is associated with high morbidity, pain, and long-term suffering for the patient. Once the damage has occurred, the repair process is slow and inefficient, resulting in mechanically, structurally, and functionally inferior tissue. Developing an implantable device that stimulates the body’s own repair system to produce de novo tissue through the use of factors such as cells, proteins, and tissue-specific biomaterials can lead to advanced new therapies to improve the clinical outcome and quality of life for patients”.

In previous Rosetrees Trust-funded research, the team successfully designed and developed a 3D printing technique to manufacture scaffold materials, and these had appropriate grooves to behave similarly to native tendon tissue. The research from this study has formed the basis for a continuation project which is currently funded by Rosetrees Trust.

Noelia Dominguez Falcon

In this continuation project, the team are further developing the basic scaffold materials into an implantable regenerative device, which is ultimately intended for clinical use. To achieve this outcome, the team are working to enhance existing protocols for the differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells to the tenogenic lineage in serum-free conditions. This along with a contribution to the understanding of tenogenic induction protocols has been recently published in Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods.

Written by: Rebecca Downing and Dr. Aram Saeed