A Breakthrough in the Quest to Regenerate Bones
Bone and cartilage regeneration has moved a step closer to reality. Scientists have successfully formed “bone-like structures” in mice using a new stem cell-based technique, which they believe could be transferred to humans. The technique allowed the creation of cells that have the appearance and behaviour of normal cells in the stage just before they form cartilage.
When the researchers transplanted these special proto-cartilage cells, more accurately known as chondrocyte precursor cells, into mice, they developed into structures that had the appearance and characteristic of bone. According to the researchers, the technique can be easily scaled up to generate large numbers of these cells at once, giving it serious potential for human use. The research has particular potential for the repair of damaged cartilage and bone in joints and the spine, conditions that plague professional athletes and those who do a lot of manual labour as part of their jobs.