Damaged Knee Joints Repaired With Nose Cells For The First Time

Posted: Oct 22 2016, 2:58am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 22 2016, 3:08am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Damaged Knee Joints Repaired with Nose Cells for the First Time
Credit: Media for Medical/UIG

Swiss surgeons use cells harvisted from nose to successfully repair damaged knee cartilage

Using a breakthrough technique, Swiss researchers have been able to successfully repair damaged knee joints in patients.

Two years ago, 10 patients with severally injured knees had undergone an unusual therapy which involved the replacement of damaged knee cartilage with the cells harvested from the patient’s noses. Scans revealed that nine of the patients have showed significant improvement in movement, pain and overall quality of life.

“We have developed a new, promising approach to the treatment of articular cartilage injuries.” Lead researcher Ivan Martin, a professor of tissue engineering at the University of Basel said.

Cartilage is a smooth, rubber-like padding that protects the ends of the bones at the joint. Damage to cartilage means that the protective padding is wore out and now it is allowing the bones to rub together.

People suffering from knee cartilage injury experience severe joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Since cartilage cannot repair itself, the patient had to live with the problem the rest of his life or replace his joint with the ones created with plastic or metal. Traditional surgical techniques like microfrature surgery can stimulate a healing response. But until now, cartilage could not be repaired on its own. Two years after the procedure, MRI scans revealed that patients grew new cartilage in their knees. The new tissue developed the same way as the normal knee cartilage.

“Treatment of cartilage injuries remains a significant clinical problem, and there is no gold standard treatment and no optimal treatment available.” Dr. Nicole Rotter from Ulm University in Germany said.

An estimated 2 million people across Europe and the USA are diagnosed with damage to articular cartilage every year because of injuries or accidents. The new technique could prove a better and safer alternate to conventional methods.

Although the results of preliminary trial are promising and no adverse effects are observed or reported by the patients but still more research is needed to utilize this technique on a large scale.

“Our findings confirm the safety and feasibility of cartilage grafts engineered from nasal cells to repair damaged knee cartilage. But use of this procedure in everyday clinical practice is still a long way off as it requires rigorous assessment of efficacy in larger groups of patients and the development of manufacturing strategies to ensure cost effectiveness,” said Ivan Martin.

“Moreover, in order to extend the potential use of this technique to older people or those with degenerative cartilage pathologies like osteoarthritis, a lot more fundamental and pre-clinical research work needs to be done.”

The study was published October 22, in the journal The Lancet.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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