Tissue that is typically discarded in routine hip replacement operations may offer a rich untapped source of stem cells that could be banked for later use in regenerative medicine, where patients’ own cells are used to treat disease or repair failing organs.
This was the implication of a new study led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, published online recently in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
Study leader Prof. Melissa Knothe Tate and colleagues say, given the tens of thousands of hip replacements performed every year, their findings could have “profound implications” for clinical use.
Currently, to grow new bone or tissue after an infection, injury or the removal of a tumor, if the patient has not preservedstem cells in a cell bank (which is the case for the vast majority of older adults), the stem cells have to come from a donor, or the patient has to undergo surgery to have them harvested from their own bone marrow.
Prof. Knothe Tate explains how their study findings, which now need to be tested clinically, could offer a new source of stem cells for older patients:
“In hip replacement surgery, the…
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