Future Watch: Biotech Options for Knee Repair


An article describes attractive reasons to defer knee replacement. Researchers are working to find ways to replace damaged cartilage and collagen, and promote healing within the joint.

Wallis C. Three Biotech Solutions for Knee Repair.Scientific American. February 17, 2015.

Your patient pondering knee replacement (and perhaps you, yourself) may enjoy [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"33004","attributes":{"alt":"knee injection","class":"media-image media-image-right","height":"121","id":"media_crop_801798038370","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"3476","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"float: right; margin: 3px;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"140"}}]]reading this brief article about research toward improved options for replacing damaged cartilage and collagen in the knee, including:

3D printing of menisci:  Already published as an experiment in sheep, the product is being developed at Columbia University Medical Center as a prospect for "true joint regeneration."

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC): A newer option than platelet-rich plasma (PRP), this product rich with blood precursors is already being used to heal damaged cartilage in racehorses. The veterinarian who developed it points out that it offers a triple threat to cartilage deterioration: "a thick clot that serves as a short-term scaffold, stem cells to generate new tissue and growth factors to guide that regeneration."

The article carefully points out the challenges to creating evidence-based proof of efficacy for BMAC and PRP, and prudently concludes with a caution to do all possible to postpone the need for knee replacement in the first place. With these options in the wings, patientx may be motivated to help you help them to defer the procedure.

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