Unexpected source of replacement cells for knee
Researchers suggested an unexpected source for cells that can replace the damaged knee cartilage. They explain that these cells can be found in the nasal septum and studies have demonstrated that these cells indeed can become a base for a new cartilage for individuals who require a replacement surgery.
The study included just ten patients, whose cells from the nasal septum area were taken in order to grow new cartilage, and who underwent the replacement surgery with the newly grown cartilage. Researchers then reported that almost all participants noted improved cartilage condition and overall knee functioning. As for the negative effect, participants did not report any adverse reaction to the transplantation or any surgery-related health consequences.
Where nose meets the knee
Cartilage is a resilient and smooth elastic tissue that covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints. The joint cartilage, also called articular cartilage, is the hyaline type of cartilage, which can be found on the articular surfaces of bones. The damage of the knee joint cartilage is a rather common medical condition. The main reasons for knee joint cartilage breakdown are all-cause injuries and accidents. Due to the fact that cartilage does not have any blood supply, its damage cannot be recovered, the cartilage cannot be regenerated and therefore it breaks down, causing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops when cartilage breaks down and the bones start to rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation.
A large number of studies have been trying to find the best ways to handle the damage of the knee joint cartilage and to recover the knee functioning. However, there is currently no way to create a new, healthy cartilage and to replace the old, damaged one.
Even though there have even been attempts to grow a new cartilage from individual’s own joints, those attempts were not successful as researchers could not get the same structure. However, the new study that tried to grow the new cartilage from the nasal septum cells seemed to become one step closer to growing a cartilage that will be able to become a fully functioning replacement.
Even though the study demonstrated mainly positive outcome, researchers explain that it takes much more than that before a surgery innovation or new technique is put into practice.