MatriDisc: Scaffold for temporomandibular joint regeneration

Bryan N. Brown, PhD Bioengineering PI
Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering

Alejandro J. Almarza, PhD Bioengineering PI
Assistant Professor, Departments of Oral Biology and Bioengineering

William L. Chung, MD, DDS Clinical PI
Associate Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders affect more than 10 million Americans per year. For many of these patients, the only available treatment is removal of the joint meniscus, resulting in significant wear of the articulating surfaces, leading to multiple, costly corrective surgeries and a potential need for replacement of the joint with a prosthetic. Currently, no effective alternatives exist for the reconstruction of TMJ menisci following removal. We are developing a novel device for reconstruction of the TMJ meniscus. It consists of particulate extracellular matrix (ECM) encased within sheets of ECM, to provide a resorbable interpositional "pillow" and an anchoring site to mimic the shape and size of the TMJ meniscus. The project's current pre-clinical data suggests that the ECM device may represent an effective "off-the-shelf" device for reconstruction of the TMJ meniscus following meniscectomy.