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Stem Cells: Engineering New Regenerative Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Wednesday, June 14
11:15 am – 12:00 pm
Tech Center

Related Resource:
Scientists Engineer Stem Cells to Regrow Cartilage


Bradley T. Estes, Ph.D.

Vice President of Research & Development
Cytex Therapeutics 




The repair of articular cartilage following joint injury or degeneration remains an important challenge for the field of tissue engineering. While a number of techniques have been developed for the treatment of focal cartilage defects, there have been few attempts at tissue-engineered therapies for end-stage osteoarthritis. Using principles of “functional tissue engineering,” we have used advanced textile techniques to develop large, anatomically-shaped scaffolds that can be engineered with biomimetic mechanical properties that reproduce those of native cartilage, providing the potential for complete resurfacing of the entire joint surface, while supporting the site-specific delivery of genes or proteins. The advent of synthetic biology has also led to technologies for precisely modifying gene networks, which can be used to modify cells to control cell behavior, effectively enabling the cells to sense and respond to their environment. By combining techniques in functional tissue engineering and synthetic biology, along with gene therapy, we have developed engineered tissues with the ability for tunable, inducible or feedback-controlled, auto-regulated immunomodulatory properties to enhance the success of engineered tissue replacements.


Attendee Takeaways

  1. A review of functional tissue engineering and novel approaches to regenerate/repair diseased cartilage
  2. Advancements in stem cell research


Bradley T. Estes, Ph.D., has over 25 years of experience in orthopaedic device design, research and development, and is the Vice President of Research and Development at Cytex Therapeutics. During his career, Dr. Estes has held various research and development positions in the industry and acted as a consultant for both small start-ups and large established medical device companies. Dr. Estes’ current research at Cytex focuses on the use of adult stem cells and novel biomaterials for the treatment of orthopaedic diseases, with a primary focus on treating osteoarthritis. He is particularly interested in the role of bioactive materials and biophysical factors and their effects on the development of tissue-engineered constructs, which can ultimately be implanted to replace or regenerate diseased or pathologic tissue. At Cytex, he is actively translating this research into clinical practice on multiple fronts. 

Helpful links: Scientists Engineer Stem Cells to Regrow Cartilage