Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, where the cartilage of a person’s damaged joint is examined and treated with an arthroscope – an endoscope inserted into the damaged joint through a small incision. But just because it’s minimally invasive doesn’t mean that it’s not still painful, with a potentially long recovery time. But now, a microbiologist in central Queensland is using 3D printing, human stem cells, and crocodile cartilage to find a new way to treat arthritis and joint injuries.

Together with a small team of researchers at CQUniversity, Dr. Strappe is developing a process that will extract growth factors from crocodile cartilage, as well as remove the proteins that set off a human immune response. One day, this process could be used to successfully turn human stem cells into cartilage.