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Cartilage and Tendon Progenitor Cell Therapy

Regenerative Medicine and Tendon/Cartilage Progenitor Cells: A Novel Approach for Joint Repair

Regenerative medicine is a branch of medicine that aims to restore the function and structure of damaged tissues and organs by using various methods, such as cell therapy, gene therapy, tissue engineering, and biomaterials. One of the most promising applications of regenerative medicine is the use of cartilage or tendon progenitor cells (CPCs or TPCs) for cartilage and tendon repair and regeneration.

CPCs are early descendants of stem cells that can differentiate into cartilage cells, also known as chondrocytes. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that covers the ends of bones and provides cushioning and smooth movement in joints. However, cartilage can be damaged or degenerated by various factors, such as trauma, aging, inflammation, and diseases like osteoarthritis. This can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling, and disability in the affected joints.  TPCs are progenitor cells that can differentiate into tenocytes or tendon cells.  In the right environment, TPCs and CPCs can aid in the repair and restoration of tendons and cartilage.

At OrthoRegen®, we harvest CPCs/TPCs for cartilage/tendon repair and regeneration, using the Rigenera Activa AMT traumatology device.  This device is a novel technology that allows the extraction, disaggregation, and injection of autologous CPCs/TPCs into the damaged joint or tendon respectively. Autologous means that the cells are taken from the same person who receives the treatment, which reduces the risk of rejection and infection.

 

Dr Paul Schiavo was the first physician in Australia to perform this procedure and to date, we have performed this procedure on more patients than any other physician in Australia.

 

Cartilage Progenitor Cells and Their Role in Cartilage Repair

 

CPCs have several characteristics and functions that make them suitable for cartilage repair and regeneration. First, they have the ability to self-renew, which means that they can divide and produce more cells of the same type. Second, they have the ability to migrate, which means that they can move from one place to another and reach the site of injury. Third, they have the ability to produce extracellular matrix, which is the material that surrounds and supports the cells and gives cartilage its strength and elasticity.

 

CPCs are different from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are another type of cell that can potentially differentiate into cartilage cells. MSCs are more mature and multipotent than CPCs, which means that they can differentiate into various types of cells, such as bone, muscle, fat, and cartilage. However, MSCs have some disadvantages compared to CPCs, such as their lower chondrogenic potential, which means that they are less likely to become cartilage cells. MSCs also have a higher tendency to undergo hypertrophic differentiation, which means that they become enlarged and calcified, which can interfere with the normal function of cartilage. Moreover, MSCs have a poor integration with native cartilage, which means that they do not form a seamless connection with the existing tissue.  Whilst some of the literature suggests that MSCs can differentiate into other tissue cells, it is actually there anti-inflammatory and healing potential that make them useful in treating musculoskeletal disease.  

 

CPCs can be isolated from various sources, such as auricular cartilage (ear), nasal septum (nose), articular cartilage (joint), and synovial membrane. Each source has its own advantages and disadvantages, such as the availability, accessibility, quantity, and quality of the cells.

 

Rigenera Activa AMT Traumatology Device and Its Application for Cartilage Repair

 

The Rigenera Activa AMT traumatology device is a novel technology that allows the extraction, disaggregation, and injection of autologous CPCs into the damaged joint. The device consists of three main components: a micro-punch, a micro-grinder, and a syringe. The procedure is as follows:

  • The micro-punch is used to take a small biopsy of cartilage tissue from the patient’s ear under local anaesthesia. The biopsy is about 2.5 mm in diameter and 3 mm in depth, which is equivalent to the size of a grain of rice.  Three biopsies are taken so that a good number of CPCs are harvested.

  • The micro-grinder is used to disaggregate the biopsy into smaller fragments, which are then suspended in a saline solution. The micro-grinder uses a mechanical process to break down the tissue without damaging the cells. The resulting suspension contains about 50,000 to 100,000 CPCs per milliliter.

  • The syringe is used to inject the suspension into the damaged joint. The injection is done under local anesthesia and ultrasound guidance. The injection site is chosen based on the location and size of the defect. The injection volume is about 2 to 4 millilitres, depending on the severity of the damage.

The Rigenera Activa AMT traumatology device has several features and benefits that make it a promising regenerative medicine tool. First, it is a minimally invasive, fast, and safe procedure, which can be done in an outpatient setting and takes about 30 minutes. Second, it uses a single injection, which reduces the complexity and cost of the treatment. Third, it stimulates the natural healing process, which allows the CPCs to proliferate, migrate, and differentiate into cartilage cells, and to produce extracellular matrix, which fills the defect and restores the function of the joint.

There is a growing body of evidence that supports the efficacy of the Rigenera Activa AMT traumatology device for cartilage repair and regeneration. Several clinical trials and studies have shown positive outcomes, such as reduced pain, improved function, and enhanced cartilage quality. For example, a randomized controlled trial involving 60 patients with knee osteoarthritis showed that the treatment with the device resulted in a significant improvement in pain, stiffness, and physical function, as well as an increase in cartilage thickness and density, compared to the control group that received hyaluronic acid injections. Another study involving 20 patients with ankle osteochondral lesions showed that the treatment with the device resulted in a significant reduction in pain and disability, as well as an improvement in cartilage appearance and integration, compared to the control group that received microfracture surgery.

 

CPCs are a potential source of cells for cartilage repair and regeneration, as they have several advantages over MSCs, such as their higher chondrogenic potential, lower hypertrophic differentiation, and better integration with native cartilage. The Rigenera Activa AMT traumatology device is a novel technology that allows the extraction, disaggregation, and injection of autologous CPCs into the damaged joint, which stimulates the natural healing process and restores the function of the joint. This approach has implications and applications for joint health and quality of life, as it can reduce pain, improve mobility, and prevent further degeneration.

PLEASE NOTE - in the above explanation, the information concentrates on cartilage progenitor cells or CPCs.  The above information is also applicable to OrthoRegen's tendon progenitor cell (TPCs) therapy for tendon healing and regeneration.

How to get started with Progenitor Cell therapy?

 

If you are interested in our Progenitor Cell therapy and want to find out if you are a good candidate, you can contact OrthoRegen® to schedule a consultation.  You can also visit our CONTACT PAGE to complete the new patient documentation, which will be reviewed by Dr Schiavo to see if we can help treat your condition.  OrthoRegen® will provide you with a comprehensive assessment and a personalised treatment plan that will help you achieve your health and wellness goals. 

For further information on other services and treatments we provide, please head to OUR SERVICES page.

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