Osteoarthritis afflicts more than 30 million American adults with pain and disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Surgery is the last resort, the only option for people whose osteoarthritis is so severe that all other treatment options have proven ineffective. But joint replacement is intensive and invasive, sometimes dangerous or contraindicated, and not always successful.
Developing alternative treatments has been challenging. Could tissue engineering and 3D cells create functional replacement tissue for joints damaged by osteoarthritis?