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NIH awards Rice $1.7M for cartilage-regeneration research
Date:7/19/2010

esenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a type of stem cell that the body uses naturally to repair broken bones, injured skin and other tissues. Researchers have long known that MSCs can be coaxed into becoming cartilage-generating cells with the right combination of growth factors.

"We aim to find the optimal formulation of MSCs and growth factors for regenerating articular cartilage," Mikos said. "We will deliver that mix in a nontoxic, biodegradable polymer system that can be injected as a liquid and that gels quickly to form a temporary support matrix to guide the growth of the new cartilage."

Kasper said a unique aspect of the study is its focus on developing techniques that will allow the newly formed cartilage to attach naturally to the underlying bone in the joint. To do this, the team hopes to develop a two-layered system where the upper layer of articular cartilage is grown atop a segment of newly formed bone. A different formulation of growth factors and MSCs will be needed in each layer, and tests in animals will be used to determine the optimal mix that might be needed for future clinical translation to humans.

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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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