You might have seen your grandparents having trouble with walking or moving joints. The condition, commonly known as Arthritis, occurs due to the inflammation of joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness and limited movement. There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form affecting millions of people worldwide. According to CDC, by 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Recently US researchers revealed a breakthrough study that claims that they can regrow new joints inside the body.
About the study
Professor Jeremy Mao and his team at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York led the pioneering study with colleagues from the University of Missouri and Clemson University in South Carolina. The researchers carried out a study on rabbits. During the study the team removed the upper forelimb joint from 10 rabbits. They used a computer to help create artificial scaffolds that were anatomically the same size and shape as rabbit hip joints. The scaffolds were infused with a growth factor beta 3 (TGFB3), a compound that stimulates cells to grow and implanted into all 10 rabbits. Four weeks later of the surgery, the rabbits had regrown their joints and were able to bear body weight and move normally. US researchers say this is the first trial that confirms animals can regrow the joints using their own stem cells.
study was published online on July 29, 2010 in The Lancet medical journal.
New Study vs. traditional treatments
Researchers say that
- Joints will have a full range of movement, be able to bear weight and may even last longer than the current generation of artificial devices.
- The new treatment is expected to save patients from repeat surgery after their original hip or knee replacement, which usually lasts15-20 years, has worn out.
The research provides hope, especially, to younger people (65 and younger) who now require joint replacements, often because of osteoarthritis. The researchers are now starting preclinical trials in large animals, with the hope that this will lead to eventual clinical trials in humans. So far results show the breakthrough advancement of technology to treat arthritis and pave the way for a future, where people can regrow their own bone and cartilage. However, it is a long journey as first researchers need to prove the safety and efficacy in larger animal clinical trial to run human trial in future. All the best!