A novel thermo-sensitive injectable hydrogel that has been engineered with gene-modified bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) can be effective in repairing articular cartilage defects, a new study by researchers at Micro Orthopaedics, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University reveals.
The chitosan and polyvinyl alcohol composite hydrogel containing hTGFβ-1 gene modified BMSCs was injected into rabbits with defective articular cartilage. Sixteen weeks later the defected cartilage regenerated and was proven to be hyaline cartilage. This work can be found in the January 2013 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.
"No reliable approach is currently available for complete restoration of damaged articular cartilage", said Dr. Bai-wen Qi, "in this study, CS/PVA gel was combined with rabbit bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) transfected with hTGFβ-1 and used to repair rabbit articular cartilage defects and the repair effect was evaluated".
Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine said "The study by Qi and colleagues is very exciting as it combines tissue engineering and gene therapy approaches to successfully repair defective articular cartilage. The approach should be adaptable in the future to human tissue repair".