Researchers at the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are working on a breakthrough clinical trial that could soon bring FDA approval for stem cell knee cartilage repair that’s already available in other countries. Dr. Khay Yong Saw, from Kuala Lumpur, has developed this effective treatment to inject autologous (the patient’s own) stem cells into the deteriorated cartilage to restore its previous durability and function. He is now supervising the process in hopes that his methods can be adapted in an FDA approved treatment. The treatment has the potential to replace invasive surgical procedures that require months in postoperative recovery, and could even utilize mesenchymal stem cells (the same ones found in teeth) given their known properties of differentiating into cartilage tissue. This treatment has already shown promise with over 700 patients in Malaysia in the last 5 years.
Dr. Mildred C. Embree and her team at the Columbia College of Dental Medicine have discovered stem cells that can facilitate the growth of cartilage and repair damaged joints. The fibrocartilage found in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in the jaw bone does not readily regrow or heal itself – hence, researchers worked to manipulate the stem cells that reside in the TMJ to regenerate cartilage and repair the joint.