Woven Cartilage, new knee! W.W.E.D. (what would Elway do?!)
Researchers at Duke have developed a 3-dimensional woven scaffolding material and process that will serve as a base to join with stem cells to form natural cartilage to replace your existing knee cartilage.
This is great, and amazing, as it is a fully therapeutic, and uses stem cells (see they’re awesome) to grow the actual cartilage on the scaffolding.
What this means is, in 3 to 4 years this process should be ready for it’s first human testing.
To implant such a system, doctors will prep the patient in a manner similar to that where they would be replacing the knee joint. Then in the spaces where cartilage is to be replaced, the 3-d scaffolding will be placed with growth materials and stem cells. Then the patient is closed up.
Over time, the scaffolding will dissolve on it’s own, leaving a patient with their own cartilage to replace that which was lost or destroyed.
Most importantly, this is a great boon to the older set, where much of this research is focused. Imagine the joy people will feel having fresh knees again. It’s fantastic!
I imagine retired professional athletes like John Elway would really benefit from a process such as this.
Thanks to the folks at Duke that did this great research at both Duke and their associates at MIT.
Thanks for the link from Medgadget.