RGM.20.007 – Large-scale neo-cartilage engineering, a regenerative treatment for osteoarthritis

Route: Regenerative medicine: game changer moving to broad areas of application

Cluster question: 100 How can we use cells, stem cells, and biomaterials to engineer and regenerate tissues and organs?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease affecting over 1.3 million people in the Netherlands, causing an estimated annual economic burden of €1.3 billion. Synthetic joint replacements are effective for those with end stage disease or those whose life expectancy is comparable to the limited durability of the replacements. Regenerative treatments have also been developed but are only successful for a minority with focal defects and otherwise healthy joints. This consortium aims to enable the synthesis of large-scale neo-cartilage implants allowing regenerative treatments for patients with substantial joint surface-degeneration, thereby creating sustainable solutions for most people with OA. To develop such an innovation, this program will develop novel key technologies in the areas of stem cells, immune-engineering, large-scale bioreactors, 3D-printing, biofabrication and ex vivo platforms. Furthermore, implementing an organ-on-a-chip device will also enable early-detection, efficient drug and cell screening, as well as personalized selections thereof. Moreover, a utilization strategy will be defined to bring these empowering technical developments ready for commercialization. We will work closely together with patient representative, clinical, commercial, provider and governmental partners, thus providing effective implementation of these novel technologies towards OA patients that will regain and extend their participation in society. Investment in these key enabling technologies will, therefore, contribute the Dutch National Research Agenda routes, ‘Regenerative medicine’ (primary) and ‘Personalised medicine’ (secondary).


biofabrication, bioreactors, cartilage, immune-engineering, osteoarthritis, regenerative engineering, stem cell technology

Other organisations

Leiden Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC), UMC Utrecht (UMCU)


Organisation Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e)
Name Prof. Dr. Keita Ito
E-mail k.ito@tue.nl
Website https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/orthopaedic-biomechanics/