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Repairing and Replacing Cartilage in Knees

Using 3-D tissue engineering to repair and replace articular cartilage

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC Dr. Jeffrey Spang
Dr. Elizabeth Loboa

The National Stem Cell Foundation partnered with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) to support research being conducted by Drs. Jeffrey Spang and Elizabeth Loboa at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Drs. Spang and Loboa are used stem cell guided 3-D tissue engineering to create functional osteochondral grafts to repair or replace articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis, a common condition of cartilage failure that can lead to limited range of motion, bone damage and debilitating pain, is the most common cause of disability among U.S. adults.

Biography for Dr. Loboa:

Dr. Elizabeth Loboa is Dean and Professor of Bioengineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Prior to that, she was Associate Chair and Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University (NCSU), and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NCSU.

Dr. Loboa received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, respectively, from Stanford University.

Work in Dr. Loboa’s laboratory focuses on: 1.) biomimetic mechanical, electrical and material stimuli to  human stem cells for functional tissue engineering applications; and, 2.) textile-based and nanofibrous “smart bandages” as controlled release systems for wound healing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine applications requiring antimicrobial, antibacterial, and/or anti-inflammatory treatment(s). Dr. Loboa has published over 275 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, book chapters and journal articles.

Biography for Dr. Spang:

Dr. Jeffrey Spang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the UNC School of Medicine. He received a BS in Biology from Duke University and his Medical Degree from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

He completed his surgical internship at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA and his residency in orthopaedics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Spang also completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Connecticut and a research fellowship at the Technical University of Munich in Munich, Germany. Dr. Spang’s practice is focused on sports medicine with an interest in soft tissue trauma of the shoulder and knee.

July 12, 2017

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Dr. Jeffery Spang discusses the importance of standardizing evidence-based injury prevention programs among youth sporting organizations. Read more.