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E. The Future of Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Narrator: This is Science Today. While the concept of tissue engineering of knee cartilage has been making waves in the press lately, bioengineer Robert Sah of the University of California, San Diego, says it's too soon for people to get their hopes high.

Sah: Older people who have completely degenerate joints think that there's a cure in the near horizon for their totally degenerate joints and that's not the case. I think we're fifty to one hundred years away from that.

Narrator: Sah helped create a detailed, mechanical blueprint of the knee cartilage which may be valuable in engineering better matched, laboratory grown knee cartilage.

Sah: The really wonderful thing that might happen many, many years down the line, which some people have a vision for, is that we'll develop a totally synthetic, living cartilage, bone replacement that will replace the metal and plastic prosthesis we put into older people and will overcome some of the limitations.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.