Scientists in Scotland are planning to test a new technique of "knitting together" torn knee tissue using stem cells in patients.
Professor Anthony Hollander said researchers hoped to mend torn knee cartilage, a common injury among young sportsmen and women.
It is being believed that the technique could prevent patients suffering serious knee problems, including osteoarthritis, for years to come.
Speaking at a Scottish Stem Cell Network conference in Edinburgh yesterday, Hollander, a Bristol University researcher, told scientists about the work.
The trials include patient tests of a stem cell technique to mend tears in the part of the knee cartilage known as the meniscus.
Hollander told The Scotsman: "At the moment, there's no way to treat this (cartilage]. It is just cut out, and that leaves the patient very susceptible to osteoarthritis within a short number of years."
He said the technique involves implanting stem cells on a membrane into the middle of the lesion and sewing it up.
"It is designed in a way that the cells will migrate across the lesion and literally knit it together. So, instead of growing new tissue, it's healing the lesion itself," he added.
The stem cells used will come from the patient's own bone marrow, reducing the chance of them being rejected.