Posted by: Viktor Mar | 2010 February 14

Nanomaterial spurs cartilage growth

EVANSTON, Ill. (UPI) — Northwestern University scientists say they have become the first to design a bioactive nanomaterial that promotes the growth of new cartilage in vivo.
The researchers, led by Professor Samuel Stupp, said the nanomaterial spurs new cartilage growth without expensive growth factors by activating bone marrow stem cells and producing natural cartilage. No conventional therapy can do this, Strupp said.
"Unlike bone, cartilage does not grow back, and therefore clinical strategies to regenerate this tissue are of great interest," said Stupp, director of the university’s Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine.
"Our material of nanoscopic fibers stimulates stem cells present in bone marrow to produce cartilage containing type II collagen and repair the damaged joint," said Assistant Professor Ramille Shah, first author of the study. "A procedure called microfracture is the most common technique currently used by doctors, but it tends to produce a cartilage having predominantly type I collagen which is more like scar tissue."
The research is reported in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International



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