Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists use stem cells to grow cartilage


Scientists from Imperial College London have successfully converted human embryonic stem cells into cartilage cells, offering encouragement that replacement cartilage could one day be grown for transplantation.

Cartilage is the dense connective tissue usually found between bones to allow the smooth movement of joints.

Research to be published in Tissue Engineering shows how the Imperial team directed embryonic stem cells to become cartilage cells. This could allow doctors to grow cartilage for transplantation for a number of injuries and medical problems, including sports injuries, new cartilage for people having hip replacements, and even for cosmetic surgery.

Dr Archana Vats, from Imperial College London and first author of the paper, said: "The ability to grow cartilage using stem cells could have enormous implications for a number of medical problems. With the UK’s increasing ageing population there will be an inevitable increase in problems created by people living longer. Although doctors have been able to carry out joint replacements for a number of years, it has not possible to replace the worn out cartilage. By replacing the cartilage it may be possible to avoid the need for a joint replacement for some time."

The research involved growing human embryonic stem cells with chondrocytes or cartilage cells, in Petri dishes in the laboratory in a specialised system that encouraged them to change into cartilage cells. When this was compared with just growing the human embryonic stem cells alone, the mixed stem cells and cartilage were found to have higher levels of collagen, the protein constituent of cartilage.

The cells were then implanted in mice on a bioactive scaffold for 35 days. When they removed the scaffold, the cells were found to have formed new cartilage, showing they can be successfully transplanted in living tissue.

The scientists also believe this technique could be used in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. When removing head and neck cancers, surgeons often have to cut away parts of cartilage, and then take grafts from other parts of the body. With this new technique doctors would potentially be able to take stem cells from the patient, grow them in a laboratory, and then transplant them after the surgery.

This work builds on an earlier collaboration between medical researchers and engineers at Imperial College. The team had previously developed the bioactive scaffold which was used as a scaffold to grow the stem cells on.

Dr Anne Bishop, from Imperial College London, and one of the authors, added: "The potential of stem cells has been widely known for many years, but it is only recently we have started to make progress towards the ultimate goal of using them in patients. These results show it may be as little as five years before this advance can be used to directly benefit patients for a huge variety of illnesses and injuries."

The team included Professor Dame Julia Polak, Head of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Centre, Imperial College London, as well as Mr Neil Tolley, ENT Dept, St Mary’s Hospital and also researchers from the University of Bristol.

Tony Stephenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>