Menisci are basically shock absorbers, made of cartilage, for the human knee. While sports injuries can often cause the cartilage to tear, sometimes even a wrong step can painfully damage the menisci, and the person can have an increased risk of getting arthritis later in life. The meniscus has a more difficult time healing on its own after a person reaches adulthood, and while surgeons do their best to repair the damaged or torn cartilage, it often has to be removed instead. There are implants available, but they are not a perfect solution: the implants either aren't biocompatible, or don't match the elasticity and strength of the original. However, there is hope: researchers at Duke University have created a cartilage-mimicking, 3D printable material that could potentially help surgeons 3D print customized, patient-specific replacement knee parts. Read more at