Earlier this year, we awarded funding to six scientists for projects submitted that show remarkable innovations and steps towards finding a cure for arthritis and related diseases. For the first time, we included patient input in selecting the projects that showed the most promise and meant the most to them.
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
If you have osteoporosis you’ve probably heard of, and may have been treated with, a class of drugs that are used to prevent and treat bone loss: bisphosphonates. Dr. Tuhina Neogi and her research team are using new methods to look at how the long-term effects of using these drugs may be related to the progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Dr. Neogi’s 2-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Bisphosphonate Effects in Knee Osteoarthritis,” is looking at the relationship of bisphosphonate treatment and the structural changes in the knee associated with OA progression. To do this, Dr. Neogi and her team are looking at how knee joint space width, three-dimensional (3D) bone shape, and bone marrow lesions change in OA patients over time.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Tuhina Neogi
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
Close to 200 patients, FDA staff, industry leaders, members of the media and academic personnel listened or participated in the groundbreaking Osteoarthritis Patient-Focused Drug Development meeting on March 8. The meeting was a forum for OA patients to share their experiences with the disease and talk about the signs and symptoms that matter most to them.
Continue reading Highlights from 2017 Osteoarthritis Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting
Research on bacteria that live within our bodies has progressed in recent years and is gaining respect in the scientific community. Most of these bacteria live in our gut, and scientists think they shape our health in a number of ways – some good and some bad. Dr. Virginia Kraus is currently researching bacteria in her 2-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “The Role of Low-Grade Endotoxemia in Osteoarthritis.” Her project looks at one molecule made by harmful bacteria.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Virginia Kraus
Last year, the Arthritis Foundation cosponsored the Accelerating Osteoarthritis (OA) Clinical Trials Workshop with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The focus of the workshop aimed at identifying ways to get new diagnostics & treatments to clinics faster for the arthritis community. Important key takeaways from the workshop included a focus on patients – how they need to be more involved in the scientific discovery process and that scientists should consider their needs and wants in designing clinical trials.
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation to Host Meeting for Osteoarthritis Patients to Share their Stories with the FDA
In July, we reported on Dr. Farshid Guilak’s remarkable breakthrough in orthopedic and osteoarthritis research. That research found a way to grow new cartilage on a hip joint shaped scaffold, using stem cells. His current Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering New Biologic Therapies for Arthritis,” is just as trailblazing.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Farshid Guilak
The third part of our researcher spotlight series is with Dr. Markus Wimmer, Associate Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Director of Human Motion Analysis and Tribology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Wimmer is one of 11 researchers to receive funding in early 2016 for his innovative research project, which uses mobile technology to show how a non-invasive treatment can improve health outcomes for people with osteoarthritis (OA). Dr. Wimmer’s 2 year research project is called “Augmented Feedback Using Pressure Detecting Insoles to Reduce Knee Loading”. The purpose of his research is to look at the use of a pressure based insole to train the OA patient to walk in a way that will reduce pressure in the knees. Reducing knee joint pressure loads may help reduce pain and disease progression.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Markus Wimmer