Now, manage your knee injuries better
Last Updated : 03 Aug 2011 09:16:02 AM IST
CHENNAI: Doctors and researchers in the city have achieved a breakthrough in knee injury management that could well go down as the first in the world. They have managed to grow human joint cartilage cells, medically called chondrocytes. This Japanese technology has given hope to many patients with knee joint problems.
A team of sports medicine and arthroscopy specialists from Sri Ramachandra Medical University, have developed a methodology with the help of Polymer scientists from Waseda University, Japan, and tissue engineering experts from Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Chennai.
A release said that autologous chondrocyte implantation, a process by which the chondrocyte cells are extracted from the human knee joint, grown in the lab and reinfused into the affected knee for regeneration, did offer a solution, but the procedure was expensive. Besides, the cells thus extracted and grown in the lab often happen to be fibrocartilage and not hyaline cartilage, which is suitable for bearing the joint weight.
Based on an earlier study published by Prof Yuichi Mori of Waseda University, Japan, a 3D polymer-based technology from Japan was used by the tissue engineering experts of NCRM together with a team of doctors, headed by Prof S Arumugam, SRM. “Animal chondrocytes have been cultured in the past but this could be the first time that human cartilage tissue was cultured in the lab without any growth factors,” said Dr Samuel J K Abraham, Director, NCRM.
“The team was conducting separate animal studies in collaboration with CLRI and NCRM,” said Dr Arumugam, the first author of the study. These projects were funded by the Biotechnology and the Science and Technology departments at the Centre. “When the research reaches clinical stage, a cost-effective solution to sports injuries can be provided for thousands in India,” he added. Dr Hiroshi Yoshioka, a co-author, hoped that these novel approaches would improve the quality of life significantly.