ORS Meniscus Section: Meniscus Semi-Circular Newsletter
January 2020

ORS Meniscus Section Member Spotlight: Donna M Pacicca, MD, Children’s Mercy Hospital

Current Title and Department: Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Current Employer: Children’s Mercy Hospital

Undergraduate Degree, University: BA Biochemistry, Columbia University

Graduate Degree, University: MD, New York University

Post-doctoral Position: Orthopaedic Surgery residency – Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx NY; Pediatric Orthopaedic fellowship - Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, Providence RI

Past Employers: Boston Medical Center

Who have been your mentors?
Clare Rimnac, PhD – I worked in her lab while in medical school and got bit by the research bug.  I still have fond memories of doing ash-weighting of bone samples during building construction at HSS!  I had not had any real exposure to engineering from a research standpoint, so I was continually challenged to read and learn so that I understood what was going in.  She has continued to be very supportive and a great role model. I still love the amazing capacity bone has to adapt to its environment.(

Michael Ehrlich, MD was my fellowship mentor and really pushed me to think about how I needed to practice clinical medicine based on science.  He would always point out clinical scenarios where people had it wrong and waiting to see what the data showed was very key.  He also was willing to change his practice based on data – Craig Eberson and I looked at ketorolac usage in peds patients, and demonstrated to him that it did cut down on opioid usage and length of stay as we hypothesized, which led to him using it for pain management.

What are your specific research areas and expertise, particularly related to the meniscus?
I have a full-time clinical practice in pediatric and adolescent sports medicine, so I am particularly interested in ways to improve meniscal repair as well as to look at sex differences in meniscus injury – I am lucky to partner with Jenny Robinson, PhD at KU as well as Emily Farrow, PhD at Children’s as we are starting to look at single cell expression in meniscus tissue, as well as trying to devise ways to protect the healing meniscus

What are you currently working on?
See above; my lab also focuses on the effects of diabetes on bone/osteocytes (using a rodent model) and we are also doing single cell work on human bone with the hope to look at acute changes in glucose and its effects on osteocytes.  In terms of clinical projects, we continue to look at knee geometry as related to ACL injury in the pediatric population, as well as correlating isokinetic data with return to sport criteria and reinjury rates.

What has been the biggest challenge for you lately in your research?
The biggest challenge is time – because I’m a full-time clinician, I don’t have nearly the time I need. One day a week means things go slowly.  I have worked on collaborations so that I can more effectively use my time.

What project(s) are you looking forward to in the near future?
Continuing our work looking at single cell analysis of bone and use that information to create better models of tissue in culture.  Working more on meniscus healing, using resected tissue for single cell analysis and culture (with Jenny Robinson).  Looking at ways to predict injury in our youth soccer teams by analyzing pre- and post-season functional data and correlating it with in-season injuries.

What advice would you give investigators who are just starting out in the field?
Well, take it with a grain of salt, because I still have my “day job” as a surgeon – but find people to collaborate with, especially clinicians – we surgeons have lots of thoughts and ideas, some not so great, but some may really point to an area for investigation that could be very fruitful.  Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and talk with scientists in other areas.  You can easily get tunneled into your field like a meerkat until someone asks you a question that makes you say “huh, I hadn’t thought of that”.  Make sure to take time away from the lab/science to nurture yourself – art, music, theatre, outdoor activities all helped me to work through problems.  Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and to work through your network – research is never a solo endeavor.

When you're not in the lab, what do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not in the lab, I’m usually in the OR or in clinic – but for fun, I enjoy being outside, whether it’s running around with the dogs or gardening.  I enjoy the NYTimes crossword and Sunday puzzles when I can get the time to do them.  I also do a lot of bread baking (but do not have a name for my starter).  I love spending time with my husband and sons, which is less frequent these days (one of my boys is in college, the other going next year).  And I have the best playlist in the OR, hands down!

What was the last book you read for fun and would you recommend it?
Books!  I tend to read more than one at a time.  I’m currently reading “The Secret Commonwealth”, the second in the “Book of Dust” series by Philip Pullman.  It’s a continuation of the “His Dark Materials” series that includes some back story, very well written and intriguing if you like alternate universe fantasy.   Also, on my e-book list is “Gold” by Steven Savile, the sequel to “Silver” and part of the Ogmios Directorate series – straight up international thriller with a twist, lots of action, and characters that are very interesting and not so predictable.

What is the most unusual/unexpected item sitting on your desk right now?  
More behind than on my desk… Beaker, my first lab assistant (haha) – it was a present from one of my first residents who rotated in research with me.  I try to keep him from blowing stuff up, the struggle is real…

ORS Meniscus Section Member Spotlight: Nathaniel Dyment, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Current Title and Department: Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering

Current Employer: University of Pennsylvania

Undergraduate Degree, University: BS in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Graduate Degree, University: PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati

Post-doctoral Position: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development at UConn Health Center

Who have been your mentors?
I have been incredibly lucky to have amazing mentors at each stage of my career. Dr. Russ Jamison introduced me to tissue engineering in undergrad and is the main reason why I went to grad school. My PhD advisor, Dr. Dave Butler, has shaped my career as a tendon/ligament bioengineer. In fact, I’m still trying to answer many of the questions that I had during grad school in my lab today. My postdoctoral advisor, Dr. David Rowe, helped give me the toolset and technological prowess to answer these important research questions. I now have a number of amazing colleagues and mentors at Penn for which I am incredibly grateful.

What are your specific research areas and expertise, particularly related to the meniscus?
My lab focuses on the biological and mechanical cues that regulate cell differentiation and function within tissues of the joint. My primary focus has been on tendons and ligaments, but I have also done work in bone and cartilage. My transition into the meniscus field started through a great collaboration with Rob Mauck (Penn), Eiki Koyama (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), and Lin Han (Drexel).

What are you currently working on?
The current grant that I have with Drs. Mauck, Koyama, and Han aims to define the mechanobiological cues that drive meniscus specification and formation during growth and development.

What has been the biggest challenge for you lately in your research?
There is a reason research is called re-search instead of just search. Our experiments often fail so we are constantly “redoing”, “rethinking”, and/or “redesigning”. These failures used to bother me very much, especially as a grad student, but they don’t as much anymore. Often times I look forward to them because I feel my most exciting discoveries were found in my “failed” experiments where my hypotheses were wrong. Instead, the biggest challenge for me currently is being more efficient with my workday. There are several things that I need to juggle as a junior faculty member and I often get distracted. I work constantly on trying to be as efficient as possible with each hour of each day. I’m improving but still not where I want to be.

What project(s) are you looking forward to in the near future?
We have several exciting projects going on in the lab right now. I believe we are close to finding markers that define specific stages of the tenogenic lineage. We hope to identify analogous markers in the meniscus as well. We also are targeting the hedgehog signaling pathway to improve tendon-to-bone repair and hope this can be a therapeutic target clinically. Finally, we hope to define the role of resident myeloid cells during growth and development in these tissues.

What advice would you give investigators who are just starting out in the field?
Stay persistent, have a thick skin, and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Peter Johnson gave me great advice at a recent Gordon Conference. I’m paraphrasing but he said, “change is the greatest performance enhancing drug”. I think this is great advice. Never become complacent. Always look to try new things outside of your comfort zone.

When you're not in the lab, what do you like to do for fun?
I have a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. They are my life outside of work - fun or not - mostly fun ;)

What was the last book you read for fun and would you recommend it?
The last book I read for fun was “Giraffes Can’t Dance”, which I read to my son before bed last night. Great story of perseverance in the face of criticism from your peers. The rhyming is quite good as well ;)

What is the most unusual/unexpected item sitting on your desk right now?
I have a bottle of chacha, which is Georgian moonshine given to me by my graduate student Tonia Tsinman.


Recent Publications

Check out the latest publications related to meniscus from the ORS Meniscus Section Membership Community.

Song KH, Heo SJ, Peredo AP, Davidson MD, Mauck RL, Burdick JA. Influence of Fiber Stiffness on Meniscal Cell Migration into Dense Fibrous Networks. Adv Health Mater. 2019 Dec 23:e1901228. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201901228. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31867881.
Lyons LP, Hidalgo Perea S, Weinberg JB, Wittstein JR, McNulty AL. Meniscus-Derived Matrix Bioscaffolds: Effects of Concentration and Cross-Linking on Meniscus Cellular Responses and Tissue Repair. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Dec 19;21(1). pii: E44. doi: 10.3390/ijms21010044. PubMed PMID: 31861690.
Tarafder S, Park G, Lee CH. Explant Models for Meniscus Metabolism, Injury, Repair, and Healing. Connect Tissue Res. 2019 Dec 16:1-12. doi: 10.1080/03008207.2019.1702031. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31842590.
Rodeo SA, Monibi F, Dehghani B, Maher S. Biological and Mechanical Predictors of Meniscus Function: Basic Science to Clinical Translation. J Orthop Res. 2019 Dec 4. doi: 10.1002/jor.24552. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 31799733.
Twomey-Kozak J, Jayasuriya CT. Meniscus Repair and Regeneration: A Systematic Review from a Basic and Translational Science Perspective. Clin Sports Med. 2020 Jan;39(1):125-163. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2019.08.003. Review. PubMed PMID: 31767102; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6884076.
Bernard CD, Kennedy NI, Tagliero AJ, Camp CL, Saris DBF, Levy BA, Stuart MJ, Krych AJ. Medial Meniscus Posterior Root Tear Treatment: A Matched Cohort Comparison of Nonoperative Management, Partial Meniscectomy, and Repair. Am J Sports Med. 2020 Jan;48(1):128-132. doi: 10.1177/0363546519888212. Epub 2019 Nov 25. PubMed PMID: 31765234.
Zhang X, Deng XH, Song Z, Croen B, Carballo CB, Album Z, Zhang Y, Bhandari R, Rodeo SA. Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibition with Doxycycline Affects the Progression of Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture: Evaluation in a New Nonsurgical Murine ACL Rupture Model. Am J Sports Med. 2020 Jan;48(1):143-152. doi: 10.1177/0363546519887158. Epub 2019 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 31756130.
Park JY, Kim JK, Cheon JE, Lee MC, Han HS. Meniscus Stiffness Measured with Shear Wave Elastography is Correlated with Meniscus Degeneration. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Feb;46(2):297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.10.014. Epub 2019 Nov 18. PubMed PMID: 31753598.
Pareek A, Parkes CW, Bernard CD, Abdel MP, Saris DBF, Krych AJ. The SIFK Score: A Validated Predictive Model for Arthroplasty Progression After Subchondral Insufficiency Fractures of the Knee. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2019 Nov 20. doi: 10.1007/s00167-019-05792-w. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31748919.
Newberry J, Desai S, Adler C, Li N, Karamchedu NP, Fleming BC, Jayasuriya CT. SDF-1 Preconditioned HPC Scaffolds Mobilize Cartilage-Derived Progenitors and Stimulate Meniscal Fibrocartilage Repair in Human Explant Tissue Culture. Connect Tissue Res. 2019 Nov 19:1-11. doi: 10.1080/03008207.2019.1689966. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31744353.
Baylon EG, Levenston ME. Osmotic Swelling Responses Are Conserved Across Cartilaginous Tissues with Varied Sulfated-Glycosaminoglycan Contents. J Orthop Res. 2019 Nov 10. doi: 10.1002/jor.24521. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31709600.
Beynnon BD, Fiorentino N, Gardner-Morse M, Tourville TW, Slauterbeck JR, Sturnick DR, Argentieri EC, Imhauser CW. Combined Injury to the ACL and Lateral Meniscus Alters the Geometry of Articular Cartilage and Meniscus Soon After Initial Trauma. J Orthop Res. 2019 Nov 9. doi: 10.1002/jor.24519. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31705680.
Patel J, Brzezinski A, Ghodbane S, Tarapore R, Lu T, Gatt C, Dunn M. Personalized Fiber-reinforcement Networks FOR Meniscus Reconstruction. J Biomech Eng. 2019 Nov 1. doi: 10.1115/1.4045402. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31701130.
Krych AJ, Hevesi M, Leland DP, Stuart MJ. Meniscal Root Injuries. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2019 Nov 4. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-19-00102. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31693530.
Hidalgo Perea S, Lyons LP, Nishimuta JF, Weinberg JB, McNulty AL. Evaluation of culture conditions for in vitro meniscus repair model systems using bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Connect Tissue Res. 2019 Oct 29:1-16. doi:10.1080/03008207.2019.1680656. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31661326.
Wang C, Brisson BK, Terajima M, Li Q, Hoxha K, Han B, Goldberg AM, Sherry Liu X, Marcolongo MS, Enomoto-Iwamoto M, Yamauchi M, Volk SW, Han L. Type III Collagen is a Key Regulator of the Collagen Fibrillar Structure and Biomechanics of Articular Cartilage and Meniscus. Matrix Biol. 2019 Oct 23. pii: S0945-053X(19)30373-7. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2019.10.001. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31655293.
Harasymowicz NS, Choi YR, Wu CL, Iannucci L, Tang R, Guilak F. Intergenerational Transmission of Diet-Induced Obesity, Metabolic Imbalance, and Osteoarthritis in Mice. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Oct 24. doi: 10.1002/art.41147. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31646754.
Rothrauff BB, Sasaki H, Kihara S, Overholt KJ, Gottardi R, Lin H, Fu FH, Tuan RS, Alexander PG. Point-of-Care Procedure for Enhancement of Meniscal Healing in a Goat Model Utilizing Infrapatellar Fat Pad-Derived Stromal Vascular Fraction Cells Seeded in Photocrosslinkable Hydrogel. Am J Sports Med. 2019 Dec;47(14):3396-3405. doi: 10.1177/0363546519880468. Epub 2019 Oct 23. PubMed PMID: 31644307.
Arrigoni P, Ruprecht JC, Chasse DAD, Glass KA, Andress B, Guilak F, Weinberg JB, McNulty AL. Optimization of Meniscus Cell Transduction Using Lentivirus and Adeno-Associated Virus for Gene Editing and Tissue Engineering Applications. Cartilage. 2019 Oct 14:1947603519880321. doi: 10.1177/1947603519880321. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31609141.
Chastain KS, Stoker AM, Bozynski CC, Leary EV, Cook JL. Metabolic responses of meniscal tissue to focal collagenase degeneration. Connect Tissue Res. 2019 Sep 23:1-11. doi: 10.1080/03008207.2019.1666112. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31542969.
Katagiri H, Miyatake K, Nakagawa Y, Otabe K, Ohara T, Shioda M, Sekiya I, Koga H. The Effect of a Longitudinal Tear of the Medial Meniscus on Medial Meniscal Extrusion in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Patients. Knee. 2019 Dec;26(6):1292-1298. doi: 10.1016/j.knee.2019.07.019. Epub 2019 Sep 10. PubMed PMID: 31519329.
Hevesi M, Krych AJ, Kurzweil PR. Meniscus Tear Management: Indications, Technique, and Outcomes. Arthroscopy. 2019 Sep;35(9):2542-2544. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2019.07.013. PubMed PMID: 31500739.
Baek J, Lee E, Lotz MK, D'Lima DD. Bioactive Proteins Delivery Through Core-Shell Nanofibers for Meniscal Tissue Regeneration. Nanomedicine. 2020 Jan;23:102090. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2019.102090. Epub 2019 Sep 4. PubMed PMID: 31493556; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6911641.
Allen KD, Chan KM, Yarmola EG, Shah YY, Partain BD. The Effects of Age on the Severity of Joint Damage and Intra-articular Inflammation Following a Simulated Medial Meniscus Injury in 3, 6, and 9-Month-Old Male Rats. Connect Tissue Res. 2020 Jan;61(1):82-94. doi: 10.1080/03008207.2019.1641495. Epub 2019 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 31438735; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6884683.
Nakagawa Y, Fortier LA, Mao JJ, Lee CH, Goodale MB, Koff MF, Uppstrom TJ, Croen B, Wada S, Carballo CB, Potter HG, Rodeo SA. Long-term Evaluation of Meniscal Tissue Formation in 3-dimensional-Printed Scaffolds with Sequential Release of Connective Tissue Growth Factor and TGF-β3 in an Ovine Model. Am J Sports Med. 2019 Sep;47(11):2596-2607. doi: 10.1177/0363546519865513. Epub 2019 Aug 6. PubMed PMID: 31386550.
Bahcecioglu G, Bilgen B, Hasirci N, Hasirci V. Anatomical Meniscus Construct with Zone Specific Biochemical Composition and Structural Organization. Biomaterials. 2019 Oct;218:119361. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.119361. Epub 2019 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 31336280.
Sekiya I, Koga H, Otabe K, Nakagawa Y, Katano H, Ozeki N, Mizuno M, Horie M, Kohno Y, Katagiri K, Watanabe N, Muneta T. Additional Use of Synovial Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation Following Surgical Repair of a Complex Degenerative Tear of the Medial Meniscus of the Knee: A Case Report. Cell Transplant. 2019 Nov;28(11):1445-1454. doi: 10.1177/0963689719863793. Epub 2019 Jul 17. PubMed PMID: 31313604; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6802148.
Tu J, Zhang P, Ji Z, Henneicke H, Li J, Kim S, Swarbrick MM, Wu Y, Little CB, Seibel MJ, Zhou H. Disruption of Glucocorticoid Signalling in Osteoblasts Attenuates Age-related Surgically Induced Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2019 Oct;27(10):1518-1525. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2019.04.019. Epub 2019 Jun 5. PubMed PMID: 31176016.
Morgan OJ, Hillstrom HJ, Ranawat A, Fragomen AT, Rozbruch SR, Hillstrom R. Effects of a Medial Knee Unloading Implant on Tibiofemoral Joint Mechanics During Walking. J Orthop Res. 2019 Oct;37(10):2149-2156. doi: 10.1002/jor.24379. Epub 2019 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 31119801.
Heard BJ, Barton KI, Agbojo OM, Chung M, Sevick JL, Bader TJ, Martin CR, Shrive NG, Hart DA. Molecular Response of Rabbit Menisci to Surgically Induced Hemarthrosis and a Single Intra-Articular Dexamethasone Treatment. J Orthop Res. 2019 Sep;37(9):2043-2052. doi: 10.1002/jor.24346. Epub 2019 Jun 20. PubMed PMID: 31095777.
Baek J, Lotz MK, D'Lima DD. Core-Shell Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Repair of Meniscus Tears. Tissue Eng Part A. 2019 Dec;25(23-24):1577-1590. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2018.0319. Epub 2019 Aug 14. PubMed PMID: 30950316; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6919266.
Ghodbane SA, Patel JM, Brzezinski A, Lu TM, Gatt CJ, Dunn MG. Biomechanical Characterization of a Novel Collagen-Hyaluronan Infused 3D-Printed Polymeric Device for Partial Meniscus Replacement. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2019 Nov;107(8):2457-2465. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34336. Epub 2019 Feb 18. PubMed PMID: 30775847.

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Names in bold are ORS Meniscus Section members.