Treating Osteoarthritis with Regenerative Medicine

The most commonly occurring type of Arthritis, Osteoarthritis (OA), is one of the most chronic diseases. It affects the body's weight-bearing parts the most – including hips, spine, knee, and distal interphalangeal joints. However, knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is typically the most common type of arthritis found in arthritis patients.

KOA aggravates the pain and stiffness around the knee, resulting in reduced functionality of the body. Studies report that KOA affects 55 to 64-year-olds the most every year. Going by what the statistics suggest, the prevalence of the disease by factors like age, gender, and ethnicity is in the following order:

  • About 62% of the individuals having osteoarthritis are women.
  • About 78% of individuals having OA are non-Hispanic whites.
  • Symptomatic KOA is more common in individuals younger than 65.

How Can Regenerative Therapy Help OA Patients?

The cartilage in the human body has a limited regenerative tendency. It is fragile, elastic, and easily breakable. Once broken, it can't be simply retained – one reason why OA treatment platforms are developed, keeping this factor in mind, and also adjusted accordingly.

From surgical operations for disease management to physiological therapies, OA treatments are developed to regenerate damaged cartilage. Out of such OA management treatment, stem cell therapy has gained popularity over others because of the many benefits it offers. The reason? The treatment uses several stem cell sources – including BMSC, ASC, and platelet-rich plasma or stromal vascular fraction (SVF). All these sources are known for their therapeutic properties. Among them, ASCs have the highest yield – with the most tendency to regenerate damaged joints.

On the other hand, MSCs – mesenchymal stem cells like BMSC and ASC have been clinically tested and investigated. Various studies have been conducted on them, suggesting the many benefits these offer in cell transplantation. The ASC's quality to differentiate into the damaged cartilage is the reason for their several clinical trials. Another way ASC is found helpful in treating OA is by using the paracrine effect.

Research Studies and Regenerative Medicine

About 268 articles have discussed the use of stem cells in treating knee osteoarthritis. From articles to case studies, reviews, and mechanistic studies – clinical trials and controlled studies have been carried out to study the many advantages of regenerative medicine.

Studies suggest articular cartilage tissue has the tendency to regenerate itself to an extent. But the process can be slow, painful, and unbearable because of the pressure stressing the joints. Furthermore, researchers believe treating OA through chondrocyte transplantation, progenitor cells, and ectopic MSCs, along with other regenerative methods, can be a good strategy for OA management.

All In All

To successfully carry out stem cell therapies, the right implantation methods play a significant role. In clinical trials today, direct implantation of MSCSs and MSC stent implantation is widely used.

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