The foundational technology in development at Cytex Therapeutics combines medical textiles that have been highly engineered to provide the immediate functionality of cartilage with tissue engineering to promote long term native cartilage regeneration.
Currently, the scientists at Cytex are hard at work developing this technology to replace damaged and/or diseased cartilage in the hip and knee. What’s the big idea? Joint pain is often caused by degeneration in the smooth, shock-absorbing cartilage tissues that line the joint. This special kind of cartilage must not only move smoothly, it must withstand the loads and stresses of the body as a person goes about normal daily activities. The problem is that cartilage doesn’t naturally heal itself when damaged. On the contrary, untreated cartilage defects are known to lead to the debilitating disease known as osteo-arthritis. Cytex is working hard to develop products that will replace this cartilage with a bio-synthetic implant that alleviates symptoms in the short-term and promotes a healing response in the long-term.
Cytex’s bio-artificial cartilage mimics the mechanical and biological properties of natural cartilage. Cytex has two products currently in pre-clinical in-vivo studies.
Cytex’s bio-artificial cartilage implant is being developed to resurface an arthritic hip with a material that immediately provides the functionality of cartilage and uses the latest tissue engineering strategies (such as stem cell therapies) to regrow the patient’s natural cartilage tissues. We envision a much simpler surgery than is currently available via hip arthroplasty. This will also provide relief for patients who are not good candidates for total joint replacement and who are left to manage chronic pain through pharmaceuticals.
Another application currently in development focuses on the repair of cartilage defects in the knee – both large and small. The Cytex repair implant provides flexibility in shape and size, mimics the strength and smoothness of articular cartilage, and can be used in conjunction with current techniques such as microfracture or stem cell seeding to promote long- term cartilage regeneration.
Other envisioned applications for this technology are cartilage products for shoulders (in research) and other joints. Cytex is also conducting research to develop applications for tendon injuries and defects.
- Joint resurfacing with Cytex’s bioartificial cartilage eliminates the underlying cause of arthritis, thereby eliminating joint pain and enabling the patient to resume normal physical activity.
- Provides a surgical therapy for patients who are not candidates for total joint replacement surgery, but have failed more conservative treatments.
Advantages Over Alternative Treatments:
- First available joint surface repair solution that restores native tissue function across large areas of the joint surface.
- A simplified surgical approach that allows quick recovery and mobility.
- Smart textiles engineered to mimic the principal mechanical properties of articular cartilage.
- Tissue engineering technologies are incorporated to prompt long-term restoration of the joint’s native cartilage.
- Minimal risk of body rejecting the bio-artificial cartilage.