Columbia researchers secure $38.95 million ARPA-H contract to build a living knee replacement

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A squad of researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and Columbia Engineering has been awarded up to a $38.95 cardinal statement from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to build a surviving knee replacement from biomaterials and quality stem cells, including a patient's ain cells. ARPA-H is simply a national backing agency that costs transformative biomedical and wellness investigation breakthroughs, quickly translating investigation from nan laboratory to applications successful nan marketplace.

The award

The award, portion of nan ARPA-H's Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration successful Osteoarthritis (NITRO) program, will support nan improvement of NOVAJoint, a revolutionary biocompatible, low-cost, patient-specific knee associated replacement. This high-risk task builds upon much than 2 decades of collaborative musculoskeletal investigation astatine Columbia successful engineering and medicine, and promises to connection a transformative solution for nan much than 30 cardinal group successful nan U.S. who suffer from osteoarthritis. NITRO is nan first Health Science Futures circumstantial programme nether nan caller ARPA-H agency, established by nan Biden Administration.

The task is led by Clark T. Hung, Professor and Vice Chair of nan Department of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Orthopedic Science (in Orthopedic Surgery) astatine Columbia Engineering, and Nadeen O. Chahine, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering successful nan Department of Orthopedic Surgery astatine Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, leaders successful insubstantial regeneration and orthopedic research.

ARPA-H is simply a hugely important endeavor that could bring astir a breakthrough successful personalized and patient-specific solutions. As nine seeks to reside nan situation of organization aging, specified collaborative approaches combining engineering and medicine will thief amended conditions for those pinch osteoarthritis and galore different musculoskeletal conditions."

Shih-Fu Chang, Dean of Columbia Engineering

"We saw during nan COVID pandemic conscionable really accelerated subject tin move erstwhile teams of researchers are fixed nan support and resources to activity together," said Katrina Armstrong, Dean of nan Faculties of Health Sciences and nan Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University. "By focusing Columbia's expertise successful biomedical engineering and orthopedic room onto a azygous goal, this backing from ARPA-H has nan imaginable to quickly revolutionize nan measurement we dainty osteoarthritis and nan measurement we do biomedical investigation successful nan future." 

Impact of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is simply a degenerative associated illness that is nan astir communal type of arthritis. It gradually worsens complete clip arsenic cartilage, nan specialized connective insubstantial that covers nan ends of bones, wears down, starring to pain, stiffness, and nonaccomplishment of mobility. Osteoarthritis is already nan 3rd astir communal type of disablement and has an estimated economical load of much than $136 cardinal per year. It disproportionately affects women, nan elderly, definite racial/ethnic minorities, and those pinch little socioeconomic status. The prevalence of knee osteoarthritis has been rising owed to aging of nan population, expanding rates of associated injury, and, significantly, obesity.

The objective golden modular curen for knee joints ravaged by pervasive OA aliases traumatic wounded is simply a full associated replacement utilizing prosthetic implants made of metallic and plastic. Although knee replacement is wide successful, location are immoderate awesome drawbacks to these accepted materials. There tin beryllium life-changing complications and limitations of existent artificial knee replacements, including infection, loosening, hardware failure, stiffness, abnormal kinematics (i.e., nan measurement a knee moves), instability, and persistent pain. Historically, knee replacements person had a constricted lifespan pinch a information failing astatine 15 to 20 years owed to integrative deterioration aliases implant loosening. This intends that younger patients whitethorn request 1 aliases moreover 2 revision implants. The request for full knee replacements is projected to turn by 673% -- 3.48 cardinal procedures from 2005 to 2030 -- pinch full knee revisions projected to turn 601% betwixt 2005 to 2030. 

NOVAJoint -; a surviving solution to ravaged knees

With nan ARPA-H award, nan researchers propose to creation NOVAJoint to reside nan urgent, unmet objective request for a imperishable solution for patients pinch precocious OA wherever a accepted knee replacement is indicated. The project's extremity is to create a replacement knee of regenerated surviving cartilage and bony that integrates seamlessly pinch nan autochthonal bony and restores pain-free associated function. Since cells are required to regenerate and support this surviving implant, nan squad will create 2 versions of NOVAJoint: a type that uses patient's ain cells and 1 that uses philanthropist cells. The researchers expect NOVAJoint to substantially widen nan implant life, reducing complications, and to go a imperishable and last process for nan curen of osteoarthritis of nan knee. With an fierce timeline, successful nan first 2 years, nan squad will create nan first prototypes earlier moving into preclinical and objective studies successful nan last 3 years, including a Phase 1 information objective proceedings successful nan last year.

Though nan first NOVAJoint is still successful development, galore of nan technologies and technological discoveries basal to create nan associated person already been developed and validated by Columbia researchers done backing from nan National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and organization support.

"The ARPA-H NITRO programme has enabled america to leverage our innovative technologies and expertise to lick 1 of nan astir difficult challenges successful biomedical engineering," said Hung, a groundbreaking interrogator successful musculoskeletal regeneration.

The collaborators

The NOVAJoint squad will fabricate a surviving knee replacement utilizing modern manufacturing techniques and capitalizes connected nan captious wide of musculoskeletal researchers astatine Columbia pinch corporate expertise successful biomechanics, biomaterials, stem cells, and orthopedic room from crossed nan School of Engineering and Applied Science, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and College of Dental Medicine, building connected a decades-long history of collaboration betwixt nan Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering. The task squad is multidisciplinary, pinch technological activity from module successful nan Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, and Dental Medicine. Co-PIs and Task Leads see Treena Arinzeh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Gerard Ateshian, Andrew Walz Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Alice Huang, Associate Professor of Bioengineering (in Orthopedic Surgery); and Roshan Shah, Russell A. Hibbs Associate Professor of Orthopedics (in Orthopedic Surgery) and Director of Complex Reconstruction; Chang Lee, Associate Professor of Craniofacial Engineering (in Dental Medicine).

Working pinch nan Columbia squad is James L. Cook, William & Kathryn Allen Distinguished Chair successful Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri, who will lead preclinical testing. Drs. Cook and Shah will besides lead nan objective trial, which will beryllium recruiting patients astatine some universities. The squad is partnering pinch New York Stem Cell Foundation and New York Blood Center for GMP manufacturing of NOVAJoint.

"This is simply a large challenge, but by creating a ample and knowledgeable squad that useful good together and tin beryllium focused connected 1 goal, we expect to succeed," said Chahine, a leader successful orthopedic research. "NOVAJoint will people a awesome milestone successful nan section of regenerative medicine and orthopedic surgery, and has nan imaginable to revolutionize musculoskeletal treatments of nan galore joints that degenerate pinch property aliases injury."

Equity and commercialization

In summation to nan advancement successful science, equity and commercialization are cardinal pillars to nan programmatic occurrence of this project. Part of NITRO's imagination is to found a clear way to commercialization, which is simply a prerequisite for successful objective translator and effect of disruptive technologies specified arsenic NOVAJoint. ARPA-H has a patient committedness to equitable healthcare entree for all, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, intersexual orientation, disability, geography, employment, insurance, and socioeconomic status.

"Our extremity is to push knee replacement to its adjacent shape of improvement and to create a amended solution to osteoarthritis for each Americans. Every time patients inquire maine astir caller advancements successful knee replacement surgery, hoping for validation of their years of suffering earlier seeking care," says Dr. Shah. "Now I person thing to show them. I deliberation nan large orthopedic companies will beryllium watching this task closely, and will beryllium vying for nan chance to commercialize NOVAJoint nationally."

In bid to meet these programmatic goals, nan squad will besides beryllium leveraging nan expertise and resources of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and Columbia Technology Ventures. The NOVAJoint squad will see a full-time Equity Officer who will thief create cardinal equity capacity indicators. The equity serviceman will activity intimately with Rachel C. Shelton, Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences astatine Mailman School of Public Health and co-director of nan Irving Institute's Community Engagement Core Resource (CECR) and Lisa Royse, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Missouri, to foster investigation conducted successful business pinch organization stakeholders to amended pass nan exertion of technological findings to objective and organization settings.

The investigation team

The technological and objective module astatine Columbia include:

  • Clark Hung, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedic Sciences (in Orthopedic Surgery)
  • Gerard Ateshian, Andrew Walz Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Nadeen Chahine, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering (in Orthopedic Surgery)
  • Alice Huang, Associate Professor of Bioengineering (in Orthopedic Surgery)
  • Treena Arinzeh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Chang Lee, Associate Professor of Craniofacial Engineering (in Dental Medicine) 
  • Roshan Shah, Russell A. Hibbs Associate Professor and Director of Complex Reconstruction astatine Columbia University
  • Kam Leong, Samuel Y. Sheng Professor of Biomedical Engineering (in Systems Biology)
  • Helen Lu, Percy K. and Vida L.W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Senior Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and Advancement 
  • X. Edward Guo, Stanley Dicker Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Medical Sciences (in Medicine)
  • José McFaline-Figueroa, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Samuel Sia, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Vice Provost for nan Fourth Purpose and Strategic Impact
  • Steve Thomopoulos, Robert E. Carroll and Jane Chace Carroll Laboratories Professor of Biomechanics (in Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering) 
  • Elan Goldwaser, Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine (in nan Center for Family and Community Medicine, successful Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery) astatine CUIMC
  • Mildred Embree, Dr. Edwin S. Robinson Associate Professor of Dental Medicine
  • Joanna Smeeton, H.K. Corning Assistant Professor Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine Research (in Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine) (in Genetics and Development)