Currently the first trial of engineered stem cells for macular degeneration, a retinal disease that can lead to blindness, are beginning in Japan. The endpoint in the first patient will be for safety, NOT for efficacy. IMO this is the way the FDA is likely to proceed in the U.S.: very carefully, safety first. This […]
Cartilage & Your Joints
The material coating our joints, bright white and elastic, only a few millimeters thick, is called articular cartilage. The cartilage we are born with does not normally renew itself if, and when it is damaged, the eventual loss of cartilage, if it spreads severely enough, results in a loss of the cushion supporting the joint—this is defined as arthritis. Patients with loss of cartilage commonly lose the ability to run, to play sports, to squat down, and to take steps the way they used to. They are in pain. The loss of mobility often results in weight gain, and this further damages the joints in a vicious cycle.
The purpose of this web site is to educate people about what is possible today in cartilage repair, including some techniques that have long-term follow-up and some that are too new to be considered well proven. The field is exploding with new ideas, including ideas based upon stem cells and ideas based upon novel medical devices. Many companies are hard at work trying to push the field forward. There have been great strides by some companies outside the U.S. , and some of these therapies await FDA approval. Every effort will be made to clarify the status and availability of these options.
Recent News Updates
Research Journal Updates
A recent article in the journal NATURE from a team at the University of Washington in Seattle has shown an exciting way of using embryonic stem cells to revitalize heart tissue. The researchers took embryonic stems cells from humans and treated them with a simple growth media to induce differentiation into heart like ‘cardiomyocytes’. They […]
Over the last four to five years my interest in cartilage regeneration has continued to focus upon new techniques in stimulating cells to self-repair. Concurrently, biotechnology has rapidly advanced to provide us with new tools in evaluating the genome (our DNA sequences) and to explain much of cell behavior in terms of growth factors- proteins […]
Clinical studies have recently shed some light upon cell and growth factor studies for a variety of illness, including stroke, dementia and spinal cord injury, that will certainly advance our understanding of the potential for regenerative therapy and also point out the pitfalls in developing new treatments and delivery systems. In medicine, it is never […]
Over the last year I have learned about an MRI finding called Bone Marrow Edema, (BME) and a new procedure developed in Philadelphia to treat joint pain coming from BME.. I have noted this finding in some patients with osteoarthritis, many patients with failed microfracture, and some patients with inflammatory arthritis. This patient was having […]
The concept of using Bone Marrow as a source of the patient’s own stem cells is a good one; we know that such cells are present, albeit in small quantity, and we know that under the right conditions they can differentiate into cartilage. In fact, just recently it has been shown in the lab that […]
The most likely sources of stem cells for cartilage regeneration are adipose tissue (fat) and bone marrow. Each of these offers the possibility of harvesting the cells from the patient and injecting them or implanting them as a component of an advanced tissue repair product. We know that growth factors alone (PRP, or platelet rich […]
Case number two is now without pain of any kind, able to exercise and do both up/down stairs without pain, a marked change from her pre-op condition. This was a 1.5 cm sq. patellar facet cartilage lesion (hole). the patient has decided not to get a post-op MRI. A testimonial from her will be forthcoming […]
The first MRI results from Biocartilage implantation are now coming in. Case #1, a 1.5 cm patellar lesion, has 100% fill at 10 months and the patient is without symptoms. There is a bit of undulation of the surface and the overall integration to the surrounding tissues looks good. Will post the images on this […]
In my clinic I often see patients who have researched various claims made on the internet. These claims include the use of BONE MARROW ASPIRATE (BMA) which is often referred to as STEM CELL THERAPY. Here are the facts. True stem cells (a.k.a mesenchmyal stem cells or MSCs) are a small population within the bone […]