Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem cells usually develop into cartilage tissue which later naturally remodels into bone tissue.
Even if the stem cells are induced to differentiate into cartilage cells, they spontaneously mature into a so-called “hypertrophic” state, ultimately leading to the formation of bone tissue; this is similar to the cartilaginous tissue temporarily formed after a fracture.
Inhibiting signaling pathways
Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin’s research group at the Department of Biomedicine has now been able to demonstrate that by forcing certain molecular events occurring during the embryonic development of articular cartilage it is possible to generate stable cartilage tissue from adult human mesenchymal stem cells.
This can be achieved by inhibiting the signaling pathway of a specific protein (Bone Morphogenetic Protein, BMP). The Basel team generated these results after many years of cooperation with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, which produced and supplied the inhibitors.
Specifically, the scientists investigated two highly specific BMP receptor inhibitors in a special device (microfluid platform) developed in cooperation with Politecnico di Milano. With the use of this new technology, they were able to show that the temporary blocking of specific BMP receptors – even if only for a limited time – is sufficient to maintain stable cartilage tissue, both in the laboratory and in a mouse model.
Embryonic cartilage formation as a model
These results open new perspectives in the regeneration of articular cartilage as well as in the establishment of stem cell-based models of cartilage development, physiology, and possibly pathology. “Importantly, we have achieved our insights by mimicking molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation,” says Ivan Martin. This confirms the vital role of “developmental engineering,” in which natural processes are mimicked to control the development and specification of adult stem and progenitor cells.
Paola Occhetta, Sebastien Pigeot, Marco Rasponi, Boris Dasen, Arne Mehrkens, Thomas Ullrich, Ina Kramer, Sabine Guth-Gundel, Andrea Barbero, and Ivan Martin
Developmentally inspired programming of adult human mesenchymal stromal cells towards stable chondrogenesis
PNAS (2018), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1720658115
Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin, University of Basel / University Hospital Basel, Department of Biomedicine, Tel. +41 61 265 23 84, E-Mail: email@example.com
Iris Mickein | Universität Basel
Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences