Using cell-seeded biomaterial scaffolds is a technique that has gained much attention in the research community for its potential regenerative possibilities. The solution to the long-standing dilemma of meniscal tear injuries may lie in using mesenchymal stem cell-seeded nanofibrous scaffolds.A research team at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, led by Assistant Professor Kazunori Shimomura, seeks to treat incurable meniscal tear injuries using a novel tissue engineering technique. Their revolutionary method uses cell-seeded nanofibrous scaffolds to enhance the repair of the tear, increasing the mechanical strength of the meniscus at the site of the implant.Tears in the meniscus are one of the most common knee injuries, resulting in loss of biomechanical function of the joint. Due to the low vascularity of the area, the likelihood of healing is very limited, and there are currently no established, effective treatments routinely available for such injuries. With treatment options and recovery of function so limited, patients’ mobility and quality of life can be severely affected by these injuries.The meniscus plays an important role within the knee as it is involved in joint stability, force transmission and shock absorption. It is made up of a highly specialised organisation of collagen fibres, shaped in a ‘hoop’-like structure. In tearing injuries, the fibres become separated, leading to loss of meniscal function.Few management options are currently available, with partial menisectomy – removal of some of the affected tissue – being a common, imperfect treatment. The risk of developing osteoarthritis following treatment increases significantly and full recovery is not achieved. Similarly, simple suturing at the repair site also sees low rates of success, and the risk of osteoarthritis also increases.The technique being developed by Shimomura’s team involves a method that has recently drawn much interest in the research community. Scaffolds were created using nanofibres and were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells, then attached to the site of the injury.