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Cow Cartilage Grown In Lab With Knee Joint Cells May Offer Cure For Osteoarthritis

Update Date: Jan 23, 2016 03:19 PM EST

In order to create engineering cartilage tissue, scientists from Umea University use cartilage cells from cow knee joints, which can grow healthy cartilage tissue. Scientists can use the findings to develop a cure for osteoarthritis with the help of stem-cell-based tissue engineering.

"There is currently no good cure for osteoarthritis," Janne Ylärinne, author of the doctoral dissertation, said in a press release. "Surgical treatments may help when the damage to the cartilage is relatively minor, whereas joint replacement surgery is the only available solution for people with larger cartilage damage. However, artificial joints only last for a couple of decades, making the surgery unsuitable for young persons. So we need a more permanent solution."

To solve the problem, scientists can use tissue engineering. The team of researchers showed how cells, which are the "signaling molecules" as well as the "artificial support material" for the cartilage-like "neotissues," could be blended in order to stoke tissue regeneration at a damaged joint site.

With the help of primary bovine chondrocytes, or cow cartilage, the scientists found better methods to grow cartilage tissue in the labs. The tissue at the end of the process was similar to the tissue in human joints.

Scientists will be looking into some more studies to develop neocartilage. Hence, stem cells would be the source of "unlimited" material for the tissue engineering. However, in-depth research needs to be conducted for ensuring tissue quality and structural accuracy.

The findings are part of a Umea University doctoral dissertation  released on Jan. 6,2016.

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