Stem cell research that could prevent osteoarthritis18th May 2010
Researchers in Aberdeen have been awarded money for three years to look at how stem cells renew cartilage in osteoarthritis.
Arthritis Research UK has given Professor Cosimo De Bari from the University of Aberdeen's Division of Applied Medicine £163,301 over a three-year period to investigate how stem cells act to heal and preserve joint tissue.
The researchers want to be able to use stem cells to regenerate injured cartilage, so it can be used in the treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis.
Estimates show that 20% of people in the UK, United States and Europe could have osteoarthritis by 2030. It leads to the body's joints failing because of the break down of bone and cartilage.
The researchers are planning to carry out experiments in their laboratory to examine how stem cells regenerate cartilage using living cells.
"There is an unmet medical need for drugs that can prevent or halt osteoarthritis and restore a normal joint, but their development is limited because of the poor knowledge of the mechanisms underlying this very common joint condition," explained Professor De Bari.
Professor De Bari and the research team have already proved that stem cells can be cultivated in a lab and have the ability to make a number of tissues, including bone and cartilage.
"However, their function within the joint is unknown; if we knew the role of these stem cells in cartilage regeneration we would be able to develop new medications to target stem cells in the joint, in order to increase their ability to regenerate damaged joint tissues," he added.
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Title: Stem cell research that could prevent osteoarthritis
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 14901
Date Added: 18th May 2010