Stem cell transplantation is a therapeutic approach that has shown promise in addressing cartilage inflammation and damage as well as promoting cartilage regeneration. But, major limitations such as the rapid disappearance of transplanted stem cells from the cartilage resulted in lesser effective treatment outcomes.
Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH), Dongguk University Medical Center, and Nature Gluetech team of researchers developed a stem cell adhesive for the treatment of arthritis using mussel adhesion protein and hyaluronic acid.
This adhesive does not need additional physical or chemical processes. In overcoming the limitations of the conventional treatment, the new treatment strategy involves the use of a viscous immiscible liquid phase capable of facilitating the transplantation of stem cells to the affected or damaged cartilage tissue.
The team was able to demonstrate in a rabbit model evaluation the retention of the encapsulation of stem cells within the bio-adhesive in situ when transplanted to the defective tissue. This prolonged retention led to the regeneration and enhanced therapeutic effects of the transplantation.
Since the treatment can be formulated for injection, it has potential to become an effective treatment for affected cartilage, administered through an arthroscope.