There’s nothing fun about cartilage wearing down and bones rubbing together. Can you say ouch? The only refuge from arthritis today comes from either pain killers, which often have negative side effects, or complex joint replacement surgery. But hope is on the horizon for sufferers, thanks to a breakthrough study at the University of Manchester, where professor Sue Kimber and her team may have developed a cure for arthritis .
The researchers transformed embryonic stem cells into cartilage cells and injected them into rats with defective joints. The results were “amazing.” Within four weeks the cartilage was partially repaired and by twelve weeks the high-quality new tissue looked pretty much normal.
Kimber is hopeful that, although in the early experimental stages, the research will lead to an inexpensive treatment that is applicable to a greater number of arthritis patients.
The researchers are excited about the immense potential of Kimber’s work. Developing and testing this process in rats is the first step in generating the information needed to run a study in people with arthritis.
The study was published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
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