Stem cells… what is their potential? Evidence from animal models

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Stem cells… what is their potential?  Evidence from animal models



Stem cells can differentiate into different cell lines due to various capabilities. The first report that stem cells could possibly heal cartilage came from a study done with New Zealand rabbits. Full thickness cartilage defects were treated with collagen sponges soaked with mesenchymal stem cells. The stem cells differentiated into chondrocytes. In another study published in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal, , labeled autologous adult stem cells were injected into the joints of arthritic donkeys. Significant improvement was noted in clinical as well as x-ray changes. Histopathological improvements were also seen. Importantly, injected stem cells were incorporated into the cartilage of the injected joint. Challenges remain though. What is an adequate number of cells needed to home in on the area of damage? What is the long term safety? What is the durability of the benefit?

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