Arthritis is considered as an inevitable and incurable condition. However, there might be no need to conduct hip replacement for arthritis patients with the help of a lab-grown cartilage.
This breakthrough has been achieved by a medical company based in North Carolina called Cytex Therapeutics. The team that develops bio-artificial devices, believes that a form of cartilage grown in the lab could soon eliminate the need to conduct hip replacement in young patients who suffer from arthritis.
Even though the lab-grown cartilage developed by the researchers is yet to be tested on humans, it seems promising. The breakthrough has been achieved with the help of 3D textile technology and is made up of stem cells derived from the body of the patient. During the study, the researchers coaxed the stem cells of the patients to develop into cartilage on top of a ball that resembles the hip joint.
The plastic scaffolding dissolves away with time and leaves the cartilage behind. The cells that build the cartilage are also programmed to reduce inflammation in the patients. The researchers believe that when this cartilage will be implanted into a patient's hip joint, it will replace the damaged tissue in the patient. In addition, it will also fight the inflammation that has the tendency to destroy the new tissue and affect the joint.
Patients who are detected with arthritis at an early age can use the new device. Researchers believe that their innovation would potentially help prevent the joints of the patients from further damage and reach a point where a hip replacement is required. It is speculated that the same artificial cartilage could also be used for repair of other body parts such as fingers, shoulders and knee.
The complete details of the study have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.