New cure in sight for injured horses

A biomaterial that repaired damaged knee cartilage in a horse has been developed in Ireland. It could soon be used to repair injuries in people.

A team of researchers in Ireland has developed a novel biomaterial that has repaired damaged knee cartilage in an injured thoroughbred filly, Beyoncé.

The patented multi-layered 3D porous scaffold, called ChondroColl, was developed by a team of researchers from the RCSI Tissue Engineering Research Group and the Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) centre led by Professor Fergal O’Brien. 

Beyoncé returned to competitive show jumping following implantation of the new biomaterial.

“We are delighted with the outcomes from both pre-clinical studies and particularly with the results from the Beyoncé case,” says Prof. O’Brien. “Our hope for the future is this technology will benefit human patients. Through our spinout company, SurgaColl Technologies, this is very close to becoming a reality with first human cases anticipated in the coming months.”

“[This] new technology demonstrates our track record of pushing the boundaries of science to discover real solutions for people,” says Prof. Michael Morris, director of AMBER. “As well as improving the lives of thousands of people, this technology could have real applications in the veterinary sector.” 

READ: 10 Irish inventions that changed the world.

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