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Help with osteoarthritis: Scientists have invented a treatment method. New cartilage substance can be produced in the patient's body.
(07.09.2010) Scientists from the University of Freiburg am Breisgau and Maastricht in the Netherlands have developed a method that could help patients with osteoarthritis and joint cartilage wear in the future. Cartilage mass can be produced in the patient's body very simply and inexpensively.
New hope for afflicted osteoarthritis patients. Because osteoarthritis causes constant pain in the movement of patients. One method of treatment was growing cartilage substance in the laboratory. But this variant is complex, costly and not always suitable for all patients. But scientists working with the Freiburg researcher Prasad Shastri have developed a new method in which cartilage substance can be produced quickly and inexpensively from the body's own cells. Shastri said: "It works better and takes ten to twelve days in a much shorter period of time than any other method we have known so far". For the treatment, the doctors use what is known as an "agarose gel" that comes from biochemistry. The gel is injected into the membrane that surrounds the bone surface. This creates new cartilage cells that are used as a replacement for cartilage that has already been damaged.
The new treatment option for osteoarthritis is called "In vivo bioreactor" and currently has no disadvantages or side effects. The cartilage mass grown in the new way is currently grown mainly for the tibia. The resulting cartilage substance is then transplanted into the knee of the osteoarthritis patient. "We are very satisfied with the first results, the method works quickly and relieves the patient of pain and inflammation. And even nine months after the treatment we could not detect any calcification," explains Shastri. It will be another two years before the new form of treatment can be offered in clinics. All studies must be completed beforehand. (sb)
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