Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Cytex Therapeutics have found a way to program stem cells to grow new cartilage on a 3-D template of the ball of a hip joint. This cartilage releases anti-inflammatory molecules that help fend off new occurrences of arthritis.
This new technology could result in an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery and could eliminate the need for joint replacement surgery in some patients.
“We’ve developed a way to resurface an arthritic joint using a patient’s own stem cells to grow new cartilage, combined with gene therapy to release anti-inflammatory molecules to keep arthritis at bay,” said Farshid Guilak, professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University, in a statement. “Our hope is to prevent, or at least delay, a standard metal and plastic prosthetic joint replacement.”