ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

10 Fibro-Friendly Foods with a Bonus: Beautiful Skin

Fight Back! Win the War Being Waged Against Your Immune System

Studies Show that Magnesium L-threonate Improves Brain Plasticity, Leading to Direct and Significant...

Clary Sage Oil May Be Pricey, but Its Benefits Are Priceless

Component of red wine, grapes can help to reduce inflammation, study finds

Poly MVA: A Novel Therapy for Increasing Energy, Repairing DNA, and Promoting Overall Health

Pumpkin Pie Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie - Vegan + Gluten-Free

Vitamin D supplementation extends life in mouse model of Huntington's disease

What’s Fenugreek Good For?

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

Print Page
Email Article

Tissue Engineering May Provide New Way to Repair Joints

  [ 99 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 4, 2002

Johns Hopkins University researchers have caused stem cells from adult goats to grow into tissue that resembles cartilage, a key step toward creating a minimally invasive procedure that may one day be used to repair injured knees, noses and other body parts.

In this method, doctors would inject a fluid filled with stem cells and nutrients into damaged tissue, then use light to harden the liquid into a stable gel. Although human testing remains years away, the researchers believe stem cells within the gel will multiply and form new bone or cartilage to replace the injured tissue.

Paving the way for this technique, the researchers have conducted lab experiments that turned stem cells within a gel into cartilage-like tissue. The team expects to begin testing the process on mice this fall, says Jennifer Elisseeff, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Elisseeff is leading a multi-disciplinary tissue engineering team that includes a plastic surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon, a polymer chemist and graduate students, all affiliated with the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute at Johns Hopkins.

The team’s goal is to develop a new way to deliver and control the behavior of adult stem cells to restore bone and cartilage that has been damaged by disease or injury or is impaired by a genetic defect. Restoration of cartilage – the tough but elastic tissue in noses, ears and joints – would be particularly helpful because, unlike skin, cartilage does not naturally regenerate. Routine use of this procedure in humans may be many years away, Elisseeff says, but the potential benefits could be significant. For one thing, if the lab results can be replicated in humans, patients would end up with living tissue rather than metal or plastic replacement parts. “If this technique ultimately works the way we believe it will, doctors will have a new and possibly more effective option for treating severe joint injuries,” Elisseeff says. “This procedure would also help people avoid invasive surgery.”

Like many new research projects, this work uses stem cells because they have the ability to renew themselves and also to develop into many types of tissue. Elisseeff’s lab is using adult multipotent cells, meaning they can be stimulated to produce different types of musculoskeletal tissue. Ethical debates surrounding stem cell research have focused on material removed from human embryos and fetuses, not the adult cells used in Elisseeff’s experiments. Adult cells offer another advantage: In theory, patients preparing for cartilage or bone repairs will be able to donate their own stem cells prior to the procedure, reducing the likelihood of infection and tissue rejection.

Elisseeff lead the development a polymer fluid–laced with cartilage cells called chondrocytes – that can be injected under the skin. The liquid is then hardened by shining an ultraviolet light or visible laser through the skin. The solid material,called a hydrogel, forms a scaffold or framework upon which cells can reproduce and form new tissue.

“Photopolymerizing hydrogels are very useful because they only harden when light is applied,” Elisseeff says. “Also, primary chondrocytes – cartilage cells – can be encapsulated in these hydrogels and will form cartilage-like tissue. The cells thrive because hydrogels contain plenty of water, which is needed to carry nutrients to these cells and move waste products away from them. The hydrogels also have enough space to allow the new tissue to form.”

Now, in a new lab at Johns Hopkins, Elisseeff and her colleagues are placing stem cells in her hydrogels and coaxing them to produce cartilage and an early form of bone within the polymer framework. Recently, Christopher Williams, a plastic surgery fellow in the lab, has conducted experiments with stem cells derived from the bone marrow of adult goats. By surrounding these cells with a specific growth factor that helps direct cellular differentiation, Williams has prodded the stem cells into forming what lab tests indicate are osteoblasts (cells that develop into bone) or chondrocytes. The cartilage samples show the proper gene expression and a cartilage-specific extracellular matrix. Lab tests show that the bone precursor cells are producing calcium, a first step toward osteogenesis, the formation of bone.

“This means that in the lab we’ve already used adult stem cells to create tissue resembling cartilage by composition and morphology in the photopolymerizing hydrogel, and early tests indicate this technique may work with bones, too,” Elisseeff says. “Other researchers have formed cartilage and bone from stem cells in the laboratory. But by applying this to the injectable hydrogel, we think we’ve come up with a clinically practical way to deliver the cells to the site of an injury, where they can grow to replace injured bone or cartilage. Some difficulties still exist in smoothly joining new cells to the recipient’s own tissue, but we’re working on these problems.”

Elisseeff’s team is now fine-tuning the technique. The researchers are synthesizing a new hydrogel that should degrade harmlessly in the body after the new tissue develops. Also, the team is refining its cell growth methods to more closely mimic the normal development of cartilage and bone cells. Elisseeff and her colleagues have submitted some of their lab results to a peer-reviewed journal.

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Ultra ATP+, Double Strength

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength

Natural Remedies

Olea25 Olive Hydroxytyrosol Hits Astonishing 68,000+ ORAC Antioxidant Value Olea25 Olive Hydroxytyrosol Hits Astonishing 68,000+ ORAC Antioxidant Value
Soothe, Heal and Regulate Your Digestive System with Nutrient-Rich Aloe Vera Soothe, Heal and Regulate Your Digestive System with Nutrient-Rich Aloe Vera
Natural Relief for Soreness, Pain and Swelling - Putting Out the Fire Natural Relief for Soreness, Pain and Swelling - Putting Out the Fire
Herbal Rescue for High Blood Sugar Herbal Rescue for High Blood Sugar
Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Be the first to know about new products, special discounts and the latest health news. *New subscribers only

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map