Using stem cells from hip replacements to help treat ageing adults

January 30, 2014 by Fiona Macdonald

(Medical Xpress)—The tissue normally discarded during routine hip replacements could be a rich new source of adult stem cells for use in regenerative medicine, UNSW-led research has found.

With tens of thousands of surgeries performed each year, this could have "profound implications" in clinical use, the scientists say.

"In , the femoral head and part of the neck are resected to accommodate the neck of the implant," explains study leader Professor Melissa Knothe Tate, the Paul M Trainor Chair in Biomedical Engineering at UNSW.

"Typically this tissue is discarded, yet it may provide an untapped source of autologous stem cells for ageing adults who were born a generation too early to benefit from banking of tissues like umbilical cord blood at birth."

The study, published in the latest issue of Stem Cells Translational Medicine, was led by the UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and involved orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ulf Knothe of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, scientists from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The researchers wanted to determine the feasibility of using the patient's own tissue removed during routine joint replacement to potentially heal and/or repair failing organs and to treat diseases.

The team collected periosteum derived stem cells (PDCs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, ranging in age from 30 to 72 years, who had undergone joint replacements. They compared them with commercial bone marrow stem cells derived from prenatal donors in patients up to 72-years-old.

Based on the results, the PDCs exhibited "remarkable similarities" to the cultured under identical laboratory conditions. They also showed "no significant differences" in their ability to differentiate into other cells due to the donor's age or disease state," Professor Knothe Tate and her team said in their paper.

"The use of periosteum tissue that is discarded with the femoral neck in replacing the hip is highly novel, as it represents an unprecedented and to date unstudied source of stem cells from or osteoarthritis patients," they said.

Dr Ulf Knothe, the leading clinican on the study, concluded: "Use of from periosteum may open up unprecedented opportunities for the treatment of disease and tissue/organ failure in a population of osteoarthritic patients born around four decades too early to bank their own cord tissue or blood."

Explore further: It's all in the wrapping: Mimicking periosteum to heal traumatic bone injury

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Flu study, on hold, yields new vaccine technology

September 2, 2015

Vaccines to protect against an avian influenza pandemic as well as seasonal flu may be mass produced more quickly and efficiently using technology described today by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the ...

We've all got a blind spot, but it can be shrunk

August 31, 2015

You've probably never noticed, but the human eye includes an unavoidable blind spot. That's because the optic nerve that sends visual signals to the brain must pass through the retina, which creates a hole in that light-sensitive ...

Biologists identify mechanisms of embryonic wound repair

August 31, 2015

It's like something out of a science-fiction movie - time-lapse photography showing how wounds in embryos of fruit flies heal themselves. The images are not only real; they shed light on ways to improve wound recovery in ...

New 'Tissue Velcro' could help repair damaged hearts

August 28, 2015

Engineers at the University of Toronto just made assembling functional heart tissue as easy as fastening your shoes. The team has created a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.