Treating osteoarthritis, a fast-growing public health problem in the aging population, has been an uphill task for quite some time now. As investigations have started sprucing up to tackle this ailment, here’s an addition to the list. Medical scientists claim that the damaged cartilage tissue in osteoarthritis and other painful joint disorders can be re-grown or regenerated. They are currently developing tissue engineering technology to fight these disorders.
Articular cartilage is the smooth, white, rubbery tissue that probably covers and cushions the ends of bones in joints. Treating even an ant sized damage to this tissue appears very difficult. Well, that’s possibly because the tissue lacks blood vessels and has little ability to repair itself and re-grow. Hence, wear-and-tear damage seemingly builds up over the years, leading to conditions like osteoarthritis. In order to highlight the progress toward medical use of tissue engineering for tackling joint damage, experts scanned global research on the topic.
They found that scientists have fabricated many new tissue engineering methods, including implantation of so-called ‘scaffolds.’ These scaffolds are reportedly made of biomaterials that mimic cartilage matrix in the body and can guide the transplanted cells. They also appear beneficial in orchestrating the host cell response, delivering structures and microenvironment substances to help rebuild cartilage at the injury site. In conclusion, Tong Cao and colleagues mention that future research involving the development of multi-functional biomaterial delivery systems can affect cartilage tissue regeneration on multiple levels.
The research is published in ACS’s journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.