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Growing Human Joint Replacements in the Lab

The Next Generation of Personalized Medicine

Instead of metal and plastic, we harness living cells to regrow what’s missing in your body.

Farshid Guilak, PhD, co-director, Center of Regenerative Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, professor of orthopedic surgery, and director of research, Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Can We Grow Our Own Replacement Joints?

The latest regenerative medicine innovations can treat arthritis and joint diseases.

In as soon as two to three years, cartilage grown and engineered in a lab may be available to treat arthritic hips and potentially eliminate the need for many total hip replacements thanks to groundbreaking research by Farshid Guilak, PhD, and his team of researchers.

During a Leading Edge Medicine presentation, Dr. Guilak described how he and his team have successfully grown part of a living human hip in the lab and are moving towards obtaining FDA approval for human testing. The research involved taking adult stem cells, placing them onto a 3-D model of a hip joint and manipulating the cells to grow into cartilage tissue. They also genetically engineered the cartilage tissue by inserting a gene into the stem cells so that they will release anti-inflammatory drugs on cue.