A recent breakthrough was accomplished in the Regenerative Medicine Center of the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. A novel approach to developing a hypertrophic cartilage construct displayed an unprecedented osteoinductive potential in vivo. Following implantation into a critical size (i.e. will not heal without intervention) long bone defect, the voids were fully bridged after just FOUR weeks and remodelled into mature bone just a few weeks later.
Additional remarkable features of this invention include the option to use donor-derived (allogeneic) cells and the fact that the cells within the implanted constructs were killed before implantation. Together, the donorderived origin and dead cells in the constructs open up the avenue for clinical implementation as it avoids the need for harvesting cells from patients and offers
the potential for an off the shelf product. More specifically, cells can be harvested from, for example, bone marrow of donors or surgical waste materials and expanded in the lab to generate sufficient cells for treating many patients. Furthermore, the dead status of the tissue upon implantation enables storage of the implants, which eases distribution and logistics.
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