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Assistant Professor Hongsik Cho Receives $120,000 Grant to Develop Therapeutic Treatment Option for Osteoarthritis

Dr. Hongsik Cho received 120,000 from the Oxnard Foundation to develop a treatment option for osteoarthritis. (Photo by Thurman Hobson/UTHSC)

Hongsik Cho, PhD, MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering in the College of Medicine and at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a $120,000 grant award from the Oxnard Foundation to develop a therapeutic treatment option for osteoarthritis, a debilitating condition that often affects individuals over 60. The award will support a project titled, “Novel Targeted Therapy in Early Osteoarthritis Using Innovative Fluorescence Guided Arthroscopy.”

Treatment options for osteoarthritis are limited. The purpose of Dr. Cho’s research is to develop a treatment option known as fluorescence guided arthroscopy to inject a fluorescent dye into the knee joint to repair damaged cartilage. Arthroscopy is a common procedure for visualization, diagnosis, and treatment of cartilage injuries by an orthopaedic surgeon. With the aid of a miniature camera linked to an arthroscope (instrument that inspects the joints), the surgeon can visualize the inside of the joint and examine the bones, cartilage, and ligaments of the knee. However, conventional arthroscopy cannot visualize the molecular or structural changes that are present in cartilages and is limited in its ability to establish and quantify the early stages of osteoarthritis. Dr. Cho’s development of fluorescence guided arthroscopy will hopefully accomplish this.

“In this study, we aim to develop the experimental groundwork that will serve as a foundation for the development of fluorescence guided arthroscopy as a suitable treatment option for osteoarthritis patients,” said Dr. Cho.