Plant-derived Biomimetic Scaffolds for Nerve and Cartilage Repair


Plant-Derived Tissue Engineering Construct

NJIT Case No. 16-009


Inventors: Treena Arinzeh, George Collins, Jessica Cardenas Turner


Intellectual Property & Development status: Patent protection is pending.

NJIT is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.


Technology Brief:

Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Department of Biomedical Engineering have invented a novel plant-derived renewable, biodegradable fiber reinforced hydrogel that completely mimics the structure of extra-cellular matrix (ECM) of articular cartilage.


Tissue engineering focuses on the regeneration of living tissues as an alternative to tissue/organ transplantation. A complete in vitro mimic of the ECM is fundamental for tissue engineering. Current tissue engineered scaffolds are mainly fabricated from synthetic polymers or animal-derived materials. Several plant-derived scaffolds have been proposed, however they are blends of a large amount of synthetic polymers, and only a small percentage of the plant-derived materials. The use of natural polymers over synthetics significantly reduces major drawbacks expected with engineered scaffolds, such as toxicity byproducts and immunogenic body responses.  The invention is a complete cartilage mimetic with both protein fibers and sulfated polysaccharide hydrogel from plant- derived materials regeneration of cartilage tissue as a therapy for osteoarthritis and the repair of cartilage defects. Further, the use of plant-derived materials, due to their natural abundance and renewability, lowers the cost of tissue engineering constructs, which would allow regenerative therapies to be more widely available and affordable to the public.



•       Lowers the cost

•       Mimics the natural environment

•       Biodegradable

•       Renewable



•       Osteoarthritis

•       Cartilage defects


Inventors Bio:

Treena Arinzeh, professor of biomedical engineering at NJIT, has earned national recognition for her commitment to making adult stem cell therapy a future reality. Her research interests are in stem cell tissue engineering and applied biomaterials, with a focus in the development of functional biomaterials that can accelerate repair utilizing stem cells and other cell types. She develops biomaterial strategies for the repair of bone, cartilage and other related musculoskeletal tissues. Her research interests also include nerve tissue regeneration, specifically spinal cord.

In fall 2004, President Bush awarded Arinzeh the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest national honor that a young researcher can receive.  In 2003, the National Science Foundation also gave Arinzeh its highest honor--a Faculty Early Career Development award that included a $400,000 research grant. Arinzeh’s most cited work to date, in a paper in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, demonstrated that adult stem cells taken from one person could be implanted in another without being rejected. It was among the most significant findings in stem cell research in the past few years.



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Simon Nynens
VP, Business Incubation
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Jessica Cardenas Turner
George Collins
Treena Arinzeh
Patent Pending
© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum