Breakthrough: Cartilage Developed from Cells
Researchers have created adult cartilage from stem cells found in mice. The discovery could lead to new treatments for osteoarthritis and cartilage injury.
The finding is especially important because cartilage does not regenerate itself.
Experts at Duke University created the cartilage from adult cells that have been genetically altered to be structurally similar to embryonic stem cells. The technique of developing those cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells iIPSCs), was originated by Shimya Yamanaka of Kyoto University. It won this year’s Nobel Prize for medicine.
The Duke researchers built on that technique to create the cartilage.
“What this research shows in a mouse model is the ability to create an unlimited supply of stem cells that can turn into any type of tissue,” senior author Farshid Guilak said in a news release. iPSCs can be used to make high quality cartilage, either for replacement tissue or as a way to study disease and potential treatment.”
Further studies, this time on humans, are needed, he said.
The findings were published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”