Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Joint injury repair via biomimetic tissue-tissue interface engineering

Technology #2852

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Helen Lu
Managed By
Satish Rao
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending 20130280318

Soft tissue and joint injuries, such as rotator cuff injuries, are complex and often require surgical intervention. Current rotator cuff repair procedures that employ a synthetic tendon graft have a high failure rate due to poor biocompatibility and insufficient mechanical strength; therefore, a functional rotator cuff grafting system is in high demand. Furthermore, regeneration of the tendon-bone interface is critical for a comprehensive rotator cuff repair treatment. This technology is an implantable bio-scaffold for repairing rotator cuff injuries. The bio-scaffold promotes tissue repair by guiding cell attachment and matrix development within a physiologically appropriate structure.

Nano-structured scaffold promotes interface formation during soft tissue and joint repair

This technology is an implantable nanofiber-based treatment for rotator cuff repair that is biomimetic and biodegradable. The scaffold resembles the tendon extracellular matrix and guides soft tissue repair by mimicking collagen fibrils. The synthetic scaffold consists of multiple composite phases designed to promote the regeneration of the tendon-bone interface by targeting specific cells. Due to inherent similarities between the tendon-bone junction and other tissue-tissue interfaces, this treatment is applicable to a variety of joint injuries (e.g. knee injuries).

The capabilities of this technology were demonstrated in vitro. Nanofiber organization guides cell attachment and modulates human rotator cuff fibroblast response, integrin expression, and matrix deposition. Importantly, physiologically-relevant scaffold mechanical properties are maintained.

Lead Inventor:

Helen H. Lu, Ph.D.


  • Shoulder injuries, e.g. rotator cuff tears
  • Chronic rotator cuff degeneration
  • Knee injuries, e.g. injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Other tissue-tissue interface regeneration treatments


  • Targets the tendon-bone interface, critical for treatment success and currently not regenerated during repairs
  • Offers improved biocompatibility and mechanical strength over existing synthetic tendon grafts
  • Treatment is applicable to both serious joint injuries and chronic joint degradation cases
  • Design can be applied beyond joint tissue regeneration

Patent information:

Patent Pending (US 20130280318)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR 2852

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