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Jay Milan Patel
M.S., Rutgers University- 2015
Thesis Advisor: Charles J. Gatt, Jr., M.D.
Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)
Thursday, March 9, 2017
The menisci of the knee play an integral role in load bearing, shock absorption, stability, and lubrication the knee. Damage to the tissue compromises these properties, causing patients pain, discomfort, and instability. The most common surgical intervention is meniscectomy, or removal of the damaged areas; however, long-term results have shown a direct correlation between the amount of tissue removed and cartilage deterioration. Tissue engineering provides the potential for a long-term, joint-preserving meniscus replacement. Previously, our group developed a poly arylate fiber-reinforced collagen-hyaluronic acid sponge for total meniscal replacement, and tested it successfully in a short-term ovine model. In order to help advance this technology towards clinical use, this dissertation overcame three obstacles:  evaluation of a commonly-used alternative polymer source (PLLA) in vitro and in a functional sheep model,  long-term efficacy (1 and 2 years) of the fiber-reinforced meniscus device, and  design, fabrication, implantation, and in situ assessment of a human-sized meniscus device. The results in these aims warrant manufacturing scale-up and FDA submission, eventually leading to the possibility of clinical trials in humans and a commercially available product.