Mesenchymal stem cells for cartilage regeneration in osteoarthritis

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New life expectancies and an older population contribute to the increase of chronic and degenerative diseases, rendering the trend a major public health concern these days. Osteoarthritis (OA) is degeneration of articular cartilage, causing articular cartilage damage, subchondral cysts, joint space narrowing, subchondral sclerosis, osteophyte formation at the joint margin, and synovitis.

Indeed, advancing age, genetics, obesity, mechanical stress ,and joint trauma are risk factors that can exacerbate osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects any joints that do not hold body weight. Thus, hands, hips, and knees have a probability of developing osteoarthritis because of their function to bear body weight.

Moreover, traditional treatments do not stop the growth and spread of OA and merely focus on pain control. Hence, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, pain relief with acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, as well as intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid (IA-HA) are a listing of the traditional treatments. Although these therapeutic strategies might lower symptoms, they are not considered effective.

Given the available medical treatments, advance-stage OA patients accept total joint arthroplasty. In addition, surgical procedures have risks of failure and infection plus the cost of hospital care, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation. Furthermore, the current need for effective treatment, plus the risks and costs of joint replacement surgery have motivated researchers. Finally, it is this application of multipotent stromal cells to fix full thickness articular cartilage that has a future.