What if injured joints could heal themselves before they develop osteoarthritis (OA)? Dr. James Martin’s current 3-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering Endogenous Cartilage Repair,” is trying to do just that- find ways to help joints heal before developing OA.
Dr. Martin and his team use special goats that have defects in areas of the thigh bones and cartilage, just above the knee. This closely mimics knee injuries that are seen in humans. The defects are surgically repaired with a hydrogel matrix that contains two important ingredients: repair cell attractant and growth factor. The repair cell attractant causes repair cells, called chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs), to migrate into the hydrogel. CPCs naturally occur in the cartilage. The growth factor, which is time-released over 10 days, causes the CPCs in the hydrogel to multiply and repair the injury with new cartilage.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. James Martin
This story started with a dozen male research mice survivors from hurricane Sandy in 2012. The storm devastated Dr. Bruce Cronstein’s research lab, but born from the destruction was Dr. Cronstein’s 5-year Arthritis Foundation Investigator-funded project, “The Role of Adenosine Receptors in Osteoarthritis.”
He described the damage: “Our labs were closed for nearly a year and a half. We lost a lot of our animal facilities. However, once a lot of the debris was cleared, we were able to go in and found that some of our mice had survived.”
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Bruce Cronstein
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new product to repair damaged knee cartilage using cells from the patient’s own knee. The product, called Matrix Associated Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI), is approved for use in people younger than age 55 who have what are known as “focal chondral defects,” which can be a precursor to knee osteoarthritis (OA). Experts say, while MACI is not for use in people with knee OA, it does provide a new treatment option to prevent OA from developing in a particular group of patients.
Continue reading FDA OKs First in a New Generation of Knee Cartilage Repair
What do skin and cartilage have in common? It depends on who you ask. Dr. Veronique Lefebvre, a researcher at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, is currently working on a 2016 foundation-funded project called “Quality-by-Design approach to create articular cartilage from pluripotency” that connects the dots between skin and cartilage. Dr. Lefebvre and her team are developing a protocol that starts with skin cells and ends with knee cartilage.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Veronique Lefebvre