Columbia Researchers Receive Nearly $39M to Develop a Living Knee Replacement

Columbia Orthopedic Researcher Nadeen Chahine, PhD, to co-lead the team

March 27, 2024
Researchers Nadeen Chahine and Clark Hung hold knee prosthetics

Faculty leads on the new ARPA-H award are Nadeen O. Chahine (left) and Clark T. Hung. Credit: Steve Myaskovsky/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

A team of researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and Columbia Engineering has been awarded up to a $38.95 million contract from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to build a living knee replacement from biomaterials and human stem cells, including a patient’s own cells. ARPA-H is a federal funding agency that funds transformative biomedical and health research breakthroughs, rapidly translating research from the lab to applications in the marketplace. 

The Award

The award, part of the ARPA-H’s Novel Innovations for Tissue Regeneration in Osteoarthritis (NITRO) program, will support the development of NOVAJoint, a revolutionary biocompatible, low-cost, patient-specific knee joint replacement. This high-risk project builds upon more than two decades of collaborative musculoskeletal research at Columbia in engineering and medicine, and promises to offer a transformative solution for the more than thirty million people in the U.S. who suffer from osteoarthritis. NITRO is the first Health Science Futures specific program under the new ARPA-H agency, established by the Biden Administration.

The project is led by Clark T. Hung, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Orthopedic Science (in Orthopedic Surgery) at Columbia Engineering, and Nadeen O. Chahine, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, leaders in tissue regeneration and orthopedic research.

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