To treat people with eroding cartilage – such as those with osteoarthritis (arthritis) – a team of researchers at the University of Southampton, UK, has developed a new method for turning stem cells into cartilage tissue. The technology could potentially allow new possibilities for medical treatment for those facing conditions of this kind.
It should be noted that cartilage acts as a natural cushion for joints. Whether due to the progression of time, sports injuries, or trauma, the wear of cartilage leads to the condition. As a result, it is as if the bones are rubbing against each other. At this stage, the person usually feels pain and has difficulty moving, which can occur to various degrees.
Currently, there is a lack of procedures that repair cartilage damage in a highly efficient and permanent manner. According to the researchers, the available methods usually provide solutions that last 5 to 10 years, when a new intervention is necessary. In this sense, there is still a lack of ways to promote strong and lasting reform.
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Stem cells become chondrocytes
The study, published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports, showed how scientists generated cartilage tissue in the laboratory by differentiating embryonic stem cells into chondrocytes, the cells that make up cartilage. The authors then used these cells to create three-dimensional pieces of cartilage tissue, without any artificial or natural support materials.
“This research is exciting, as our ability to generate cartilage with properties similar to those of normal human cartilage has the potential to provide a powerful tissue engineering product for cartilage repair,” explained researcher Francesca Hutton of the University of Southampton School of Medicine. The technology is promising.
According to the authors, they are the first to use this technique that is free of any kind of structure to generate cartilage tissue. In addition, Rahul Tari, who is also a professor at the university, explained that this “similar” approach to tissue replacement has the potential to fundamentally change cell-based surgical approaches to repair damaged cartilage and improve cancer outcomes. long-term patients.
Now, the team’s next step is to deepen these findings, based on new studies. In the future, this lab-grown tissue could be used routinely in surgery to repair damaged cartilage.
To access the full study on the use of stem cells in cartilage development, published in Scientific Reports, click Here.
Source: medical news
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