Human articular cartilage defects can be treated with nasal septum cells. Researchers at the University and the University Hospital of Basel report that cells taken from the nasal septum are able to adapt to the environment of the knee joint and can thus repair articular cartilage defects.
The nasal cartilage cells' ability to self-renew and adapt to the joint environment is associated with the expression of so-called HOX genes. The scientific journal Science Translational Medicine has published the research results together with the report of the first treated patients.
Cartilage lesions in joints often appear in older people as a result of degenerative processes. However, they also regularly affect younger people after injuries and accidents. Such defects are difficult to repair and often require complicated surgery and long rehabilitation times.
A new treatment option has now been presented by a research team lead by Prof. Ivan Martin, professor for tissue engineering, and Prof. Marcel Jakob, Head of Traumatology, from the Department of Biomedicine at the University and the University Hospital of Basel: Nasal cartilage cells can replace cartilage cells in joints.
Cartilage cells from the nasal septum (nasal chondrocytes) have a distinct capacity to generate a new cartilage tissue after their expansion in culture. In an ongoing clinical study, the researchers have so far taken small biopsies (6 millimeters in diameter) from the nasal septum from seven out of 25 patients below the age of 55 years and then isolated the cartilage cells.
They cultured and multiplied the cells and then applied them to a scaffold in order to engineer a cartilage graft the size of 30 x 40 millimeters. A few weeks later they removed the damaged cartilage tissue of the patients' knees and replaced it with the engineered and tailored tissue from the nose. In a previous clinical study conducted in cooperation with plastic surgeons and using the same method, the researchers from Basel recently already successfully reconstructed nasal wings affected by tumors.
The scientists around first author Dr. Karoliina Pelttari were especially surprised by the fact that in the animal model with goats, the implanted nasal cartilage cells were compatible with the knee joint profile; even though, the two cell types have different origins.
During the embryonic development, nasal septum cells develop from the neuroectodermal germ layer, which also forms the nervous system; their self-renewal capacity is attributed to their lack of expression of some homeobox (HOX) genes. In contrast, these HOX genes are expressed in articular cartilage cells that are formed in the mesodermal germ layer of the embryo.
“The findings from the basic research and the preclinical studies on the properties of nasal cartilage cells and the resulting engineered transplants have opened up the possibility to investigate an innovative clinical treatment of cartilage damage”, says Prof. Ivan Martin about the results.
It has already previously been shown that the human nasal cells' capacity to grow and form new cartilage is conserved with age. Meaning, that also older people could benefit from this new method, as well as patients with large cartilage defects. While the primary target of the ongoing clinical study at the University Hospital of Basel is to confirm the safety and feasibility of cartilage grafts engineered from nasal cells when transplanted into joint, the clinical effectiveness assessed until now is highly promising.
Karoliina Pelttari, Benjamin Pippenger, Marcus Mumme, Sandra Feliciano, Celeste Scotti, Pierre Mainil-Varlet, Alfredo Procino, Brigitte von Rechenberg, Thomas Schwamborn, Marcel Jakob, Clemente Cillo, Andrea Barbero, Ivan Martin
Adult human neural crest-derived cells for articular cartilage repair
Science Translational Medicine, 6, 251ra120 (2014) | doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009688
Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin, Department of Biomedicine at the University and the University Hospital of Basel, phone: +41 (0)61 265 23 84, email: email@example.com
Christoph Dieffenbacher | Universität Basel
New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego
Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering