The stem cell or "living bandage" that will revolutionize the treatment and therapy for meniscal tear knee surgery is now tried on humans.
It is commonplace for athletes competing in active sports to have their meniscus torn. It is a double-cartilage found in each knee that works as a shock-absorber for the thigh bone and shin bone. The cartilage can also degenerate faster as we age. Meniscal tear is also prone to occur to those who has developed osteoarthritis.
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Knee surgery by by Tim Evanson[/caption]
The scientists at University of Bristol and Liverpool developed the stem cell bandage by growing the harvested stem cell from the patient's own bone marrow in two weeks before to planting it on a collagen membrane scaffold. The completed cell bandage will then be implanted on to the tear and sewn up snugly in place. By then the meniscal tear will repair itself and grow back the damaged tissue.
The prototype version of the bandage was implanted to five patients ages between 18 and 45 with white-zone meniscus tear. White-zone tear means that the damaged area does not have access to an adequate blood supply and requires a surgery to be able to heal. The cell bandage aims to skip the surgery.
All patients have achieved in tact meniscus for 12 months. The three patients retained their intact knee cartilage but the two other patients required surgical removal of the meniscus or menisectomy due to a new tear and return of symptoms.
An enhanced version of the cell bandage is on its way aiming to reduce the cost of the procedure and ultimately, lowers the risk of a menisectomy altogether.
Azellon Ltd, a spin-out company of University of Bristol funded the study by grants from Innovate UK.
“Turning stem cell research into clinical and commercial reality requires close collaboration between businesses, universities, and hospitals. It’s great to see this inter-disciplinary approach has led to such an exciting outcome from this first-in-human trial,” explained by a spokesperson of Innovate UK.
The study is published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine
Recently, another study on knee joint repair using nose cells
was conducted by researchers at the University of Basel.
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