Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed bio-engineered replacement spinal discs. Intervertebral discs are located between the bones of the spine to absorb shock, prevent the bones from painfully rubbing together and protect the nerves of the spinal cord. Degraded discs cause intense chronic pain, which is often debilitating and diminishes a person’s quality of life. The current standard of care involves replacing a damaged disc with a synthetic replacement, which does alleviate some pain, but does not compare to real cartilage. In an animal model, autologous (the patient’s own) mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were seeded into a biological scaffold where they differentiated into cartilage tissue. When the disc was fully-formed, it was surgically inserted back into the spine, and in a 20 week follow-up the disc maintained its structure and performed as normal.
"The current standard of care does not actually restore the disc, so our hope with this engineered device is to replace it in a biological, functional way and regain full range of motion,"comments Professor Robert L Mauck, co-senior author of this study.
As treatments emerge, we believe the best stem cells to use will be the patient’s own [autologous stem cells] as this negates the need to find a suitable donor and eliminates the chances of rejection of the transplanted tissue. To learn how to bank your own valuable stem cells to insure your future health, visit www.StemSave.com or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™
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