University of Hong Kong researchers have pioneered a way to grow cartilage tissues from bone marrow stem cells of patients, opening a new way to treat cartilage-related ailments.
The researchers say the cartilage developed through their method can be used in minimally-invasive treatments for people with sports injuries and various cartilage-related illnesses.
Currently, the best way to repair damaged cartilage is to replace it with healthy cartilage taken from another section of the joint. But that affects the donor site, and can lead to pain and degeneration in the long run.
The new technology has successfully tested on animals, said Dr Barbara Chan, who heads the research team. She said her team is hoping to conduct clinical trials next year.