Tissue Repair

Getting one's joint out of nose

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Science  18 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 844-845
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6314.844-d

Articular cartilage lubricates joints and is essential for pain-free movement. Unlike other tissues, injured cartilage does not repair on its own. One common treatment involves harvesting cartilage-secreting cells called chondrocytes from the injured joint, expanding the cells in culture for a few weeks, and then implanting them back into the joint. Animal studies suggest that chondrocytes from a different tissue source, the nose, are better at regenerating articular cartilage. Mumme et al. tested this less invasive procedure in a pilot study of 10 patients with knee injuries. In all cases, they successfully produced cartilage tissue ex vivo by using chondrocytes taken from the nasal septum. All patients reported an improvement in clinical scores for pain, knee function, and quality of life.

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