Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


UIC researchers create tissue-engineered joint from stem cells


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have successfully turned adult stem cells into bone and cartilage, forming the ball structure of a joint found in the human jaw with its characteristic shape and tissue composition.

Tested so far only in animals, the tissue-engineering procedure to create a human-shaped articular condyle could be used one day to regenerate the ball structure of joints in the jaw, knee and hip that have been lost to injury or diseases such as arthritis.

"This represents the first time a human-shaped articular condyle with both cartilage- and bone-like tissues was grown from a single population of adult stem cells," said Jeremy Mao, director of the tissue engineering laboratory at UIC and associate professor of bioengineering and orthodontics.

"Our ultimate goal is to create a condyle that is biologically viable -- a living tissue construct that integrates with existing bone and functions like the natural joint."

To create the articular condyle, Mao and Adel Alhadlaq, a doctoral student in anatomy and cell biology, used adult mesenchymal stem cells taken from the bone marrow of rats. Bone marrow is the inner, spongy tissue of long bones like the femur and tibia, the leg bones.

Under certain conditions, mesenchymal stem cells, present in a number of adult tissues, can potentially differentiate into virtually any kind of connective tissue -- including tendons, skeletal muscle, teeth, ligaments, cartilage and bone.

Using chemical substances and growth factors, the scientists induced the adult stem cells to develop into cells capable of producing cartilage and bone.

The cells were then stratified into two integrated layers, encapsulated in a biocompatible gel-like material, and shaped into an articular condyle using a mold made from the temporomandibular or jaw joint of a human cadaver.

After several weeks, Mao and his colleagues found that the tissue-engineered structures retained the molded shape of the human mandibular condyle, with bone-like tissue underneath and a layer of cartilage-like tissue on top -- an arrangement similar to that of a natural articular condyle.

Moreover, multiple tests confirmed that the newly grown tissues were indeed bone and cartilage, having the characteristic microscopic components: for bone, a matrix of collagen with deposits of calcium salts, and for cartilage, collagen and large amounts of substances called proteoglycans.

Mao stressed that much additional work is needed before tissue-engineered condyles are ready for therapeutic use in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, injuries or congenital anomalies.

Nevertheless, he believes that with further refinements, the procedure could one day be adopted for total hip and knee replacements.

"Our findings represent a proof of concept for further development of tissue-engineered condyles," Mao said.

The first in a series of reports on the tissue-engineered articular condyle will be published as a rapid communication in the December issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

Mao’s tissue engineering laboratory is funded by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Whitaker Foundation.

For more information about UIC, visit

Sharon Butler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>