b'BODY, HEAL THYSELFAt UMSOM, Dr. Leong runs aWith many of treatments available now,research lab dedicated to ligamentyou can end up with a joint or ligament and tendon tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.thats not quite the same as before Im interested in using tissueinjury. If we can harness biology to heal engineering to regrow ligaments,injury in a physiologic way, the outcome she says, to provide a better alternative for patients with ACLcan be better.injuries. Tears or sprains of theNatalie Leong, MDACL, a major ligament in the knee, most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction, jumping, andmaterials, and suitable biochemicalA SURPRISING WIN-WINlandingsuch as soccer, basketball,and physicochemical growthIN THE MAKINGfootball, and skiing. With manyfactors to improve or replace of the treatments available now,Within her first year at the she says, the patient ends upbiological tissues. Dr. LeongUniversity of Maryland Baltimore, with a joint or ligament thatsreceived her first exposure to theDr. Leong has received competitive not exactly the same as the oneworld of biomedical engineeringresearch grant funding from they had before injury. If we canas an undergraduate at Columbiathe Veterans Administration, harness biology to heal injury in aUniversity. Today, her researchOrthopaedic Research and physiologic way, the outcomes canexplores biological solutions toEducation Foundation, Lisa be better. ligament and tendon injuries,Dean Moseley Foundation, and such as regrowing the ACL fromArthroscopy Association of North Tissue engineering employs aa combination of stem cells andAmerica to support of her labs combination of cells, engineeringbiodegradable scaffolds.work in regenerative medicine. The focus of her research is the role perivascular STEM cells can play in native ligament healing. Derived from fat, harvesting perivascular STEM cells might serve another use as well. Were actually working with the Division of Plastic Surgery to provide us with fat they extract during liposuction, she explains.In the future, she envisions a situation where a patient can come in and get a little bit of liposuction and on the same day have those fat cells repurposed to treat an orthopaedic issue. Everybody, she says, has a little they can spare, right?Dr. Leongs lab is studying the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL.Department of Orthopaedics 2019Annual Report15'