Hope For Those Aching Joints

This story is part 3 of an occasional series on the current progression in Regenerative Medicine. In 1999, I defined regenerative medicine as the collection of interventions that restore to normal function tissues and organs that have been damaged by disease, injured by trauma, or worn by time. I include a full spectrum of chemical, gene, and protein-based medicines, cell-based therapies, and biomechanical interventions that achieve that goal.

At long last, there seems to be real hope in rebuilding damaged articular cartilage. Researchers from the University of Southampton recently discovered a new method to generate cartilage tissue from stem cells. Articular cartilage covers the ends of bones and acts as a shock absorber in the joints. It provides a smooth, low friction surface and allows for painless movement. However, it is known to be particularly susceptible to degradation through sports injuries or general wear and tear. Actions such as falling, moving a joint in a strange direction, or even wearing high heels for extended periods of time can all contribute to the deterioration of cartilage and increased pain in movement.

Read the full article on Forbes.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.