According to researchers a new has been found way of converting cells from the fat pad inside the knee into cartilage that could be used to repair knee problems. There is growing interest in the potential of tissue engineering where replacement or repair tissue is created from a person's own cells. Central to this is the ability of stem cells primitive cells that can go along one of several developmental pathways - to become more specialised.
Working with patients who would just had a knee operation, researchers at Hopkins University now report that it's possible to convert the cells from the fat pad behind the knee cap into cartilage or bone cells. They even managed to grow them into cartilage tissue by having the cells infused onto a special biodegradable matrix. The work has enormous potential and many applications. In years to come, those with injury to a joint or some other skeletal problem could find themselves with a ready repair material created from their own cells.