Monday, November 22, 2010

Stem Cell Research - What Do Humans and Leopards Have in Common?

The potential of Stem Cells is being investigated for the treatment of many conditions and osteoarthritis is no exception.

Many believe that stem cells offer the best hope of growing new cartilage to cover the defects caused by osteoarthritis. There have been a number of animal studies published that look promising and now human trials are beginning.

In the UK, a new study is due to begin at the end of 2010. It will be looking into the effects of adding stem cells to traditional chondrocyte cells that are used in Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation surgery. It is hoped the addition of these cells will lead to a graft that more closely resembles normal articular cartilage.

For more information on this see:

In other news, just as human trials are beginning, so are Snow Leopard trials. In Australia, Sydney's Taronga Zoo has recently operated on one of its endangered Snow Leopards who was crippled by osteoarthritis. It is hoped the stem cells will restore function to a progressively degenerative knee.

It will be a few years before we learn of the outcome on research into stem cell treatments but it will be an exciting time for all of those suffering from degenerative joint disease.

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